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Winter years in Cowichan a study of the depression in a Vancouver Island community Wright, Arthur James 1967

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THE WINTER YEARS IN COWICHAN A STUDY OF THE DEPRESSION IN 4 VANCOUVER ISLAND COMMUNITY by ARTHUR JAMES WRIGHT B.A., University of Brit i s h Columbia, 1966 A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF ARTS i n the Department of History. We accept this thesis as conforming to the required standard THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA September, 1967 In p r e s e n t i n g t h i s t h e s i s i n p a r t i a l f u l f i l m e n t o f the r e q u i r e m e n t s f o r an advanced degree a t the U n i v e r s i t y o f B r i t i s h C olumbia, I agree t h a t the L i b r a r y s h a l l make i t f r e e l y a v a i l a b l e f o r r e f e r e n c e and Study. I f u r t h e r agree t h a t p e r m i s s i o n f o r e x t e n s i v e c o p y i n g o f t h i s t h e s i s f o r s c h o l a r l y p u r p o s e s may be g r a n t e d by the Head o f my Department or by n.fe r e p r e s e n t a t i v e s . I t i s u n d e r s t o o d t h a t c o p y i n g or p u b l i c a t i o n o f t h i s t h e s i s f o r f i n a n c i a l g a i n s h a l l not be a l l o w e d w i t h o u t my w r i t t e n p e r m i s s i o n . Department o f H i s t o r y  The U n i v e r s i t y o f B r i t i s h Columbia Vancouver 8 , Canada Date September 21. 1967. i i ABSTRACT The purpose of this thesis has been to examine the effects of the Great Depression on the rural Cowichan Valley d i s t r i c t of Vancouver Island. During the period under consideration vthe Cowichan area contained a small c i t y which was surrounded by an area of expanding rural settlement, which was i n turn encompassed by a vast, heavily timbered hinterland. As a result, i t has been possible to view the consequences of the depression on a variety of types of people, and on two of the province's p r i n c i p a l econ-omic concerns, namely agriculture and lumbering. The introductory section of the paper gives a b r i e f review of the valley's economic, p o l i t i c a l and so c i a l background from 1850 to 1912. It i s contained i n the thesis i n order to famil i a r i z e the reader with the Cowichan region and some of i t s t r a d i t i o n a l problems and biases. Chapter I, "The People: a Builder", i s a chronological investigation of the p o l i t i c a l , s o c i a l and economic developments which took place i n the 1920's decade, and i s i n -essence a preparatory chapter, giving pertinent background mat- . e r i a l to the actual study of the depression. I t -reveals the slow . currents of change which took place i n the years following World War I. Many of the problems experienced during the reconstruction period and throughout the post-war depression, p a r t i c u l a r l y i n the f i e l d of provincial p o l i t i c s , w i l l be seen to fade i n importance during the prosperous years toward the end of the decade, only to re-emerge even more f o r c e f u l l y during the t h i r t i e s . This i s i i i p a r t i c u l a r l y true with regard to p o l i t i c a l disaffections expressed by the farmers of the community. This chapter also reveals the growing importance to the valley's economy of the l o c a l lumber industry. Before World War I agriculture was regarded as Cowi-chan's basic source of income, but by 1929 the forest industry was employing many hundreds of men and d i s t r i b u t i n g thousands of doll a r s annually i n the va l l e y . The f i r s t chapter concludes with a review of circumstances i n Cowiehan as they stood in..1929. The cit i z e n s of the d i s t r i c t could look back over a decade of ever-increasing prosperity, and look forward to the future with a sense of unbounded optimism. From the quantities of raw material available i n the l o c a l newspaper, church records, municipal minutes, l o c a l h i stories and government publications, the story of the Winter Years i n Cowi-ehan has been gathered. Three years of unemployment, deprivation and suffering, the l i k e s of which had never before been experienc-ed i n the valley, were ushered i n with the collapse of B r i t i s h Columbia's lumber industry early i n 1930. Chapter two gives wit-e ness to the gradual dterioration of community l i f e which took place between 1930 and 1934, i n spite of the continued e f f o r t s of individuals, c i v i c organizations, and the l o c a l municipal govern-ments to meet the needs of the ever-increasing number of unem-ployed. Chapter three relates the story of Cowiehan's struggle to throw o f f the mantle of the Winter Years and to regain the pros-perity which the community had enjoyed i n 1929. The key to this recovery was discovered i n 1934 with the establishment of new i v world markets for B r i t i s h Columbia's lumber trade. Within a m*tter of weeks the problems of the depression seemed to belong to the past as the majority of the valley's population began to reap o the benefits of the renewed harvest of forest products. It was during this period of recovery, however, that the most forceful reactions were registered i n Cowichan against the preceding years of misery and suffering. The old-line p o l i t i c a l parties were accused of gross inadequacies as the t r a d i t i o n a l l y Conservative Cowichan-Newcastle ri d i n g elected a new provincial representative whose platform was based solely on the tenets of the Oxford Group. Unrest was also prevalent among many of the young men who were employed i n the l o c a l logging camps. They f e l t that a certain degree of r e s p o n s i b i l i t y for the depression lay with the c a p i t a l -i s t i c "boss-loggers". The men were encouraged i n these bel i e f s by the machinations of a group of militant Communists who had gained control of the province's lumbering and longshoremen's unions. For three consecutive years these men threatened Cowichan's economic recovery by taking the loggers and the longshoremen out on stri k e i n an ef f o r t to disrupt production i n B r i t i s h Columbia's primary industry. It was only with the settlement of the l a s t of these labour problems i n 1936, that the Cowichan area threw o f f the l a s t vestiges of the depression. The general conclusions reached i n this study indicate that while the depression i n Cowichan was r e l a t i v e l y short-lived, and was not as severe as that experienced i n other parts of the prov-ince, i t did have some very decisive e f f e c t s . P o l i t i c a l l y i t re-sulted i n a d e f i n i t e swing from right to l e f t , as Cowichan went V into the depression a t r a d i t i o n a l l y Conservative r i d i n g and emerged supporting the C.C.F. party. Economically, the depression saw the v i r t u a l collapse of Cowichan's a g r i c u l t u r a l economy, while the position of the lumber industry was greatly strengthened. S o c i a l l y , the depression witnessed many changes. The effect of years of deprivation and uncertainty on the individual was trau-matic. For the community as a whole the early 1930's had been a severe test, but i n the long run they had resulted i n a stronger sense of understanding and s o l i d a r i t y among the varied groups which were included i n the valley's population. v i TABLE OF CONTENTS Introduction page 2 Chapter I: The People: a Builder page 11 Chapter II: Hope: a Dream Out Of Time page 52 Chapter I I I : The People: a Builder Again page 103 Conclusion page 151 Bibliography page 161 Appendix A: Population Changes page 164 Appendix B: Marriage and Bi r t h Rates page 165 Appendix C: Divorce Rate page 166 Appendix D: Quantity of Fruits and Vegetables by Express page 167 Appendix E: Net Liquor Sales page 168 Appendix F: Provincial Elections, 1928 -1937 page 169 V l l LIST OF FIGURES OR ILLUSTRATIOIS Map of the Cowiehan Valley page 2a v i i i ACKNOWLEDGMENT I wish to acknowledge the kind assistance of Doctor Margaret Prang i n the preparation of this thesis. I am also indebted to Mr. Will Dobson and the s t a f f of the Cowichan Leader for their cooperation i n giving me access to t h e i r f i l e s . To my wife, I express my thanks for her patience and understanding through what has been a long, hot, "working summer". 1 The people learn, unlearn, learn, a builder, a wreoker, a builder again,..." "*Preoisely who and what i s the people?*" "Hope i s a tattered flag and a dream out of time. Hope i s an echo, hope ties i t s e l f yonder, yonder." "In the darkness with a great bundle of grief the people inarch. In the night, and overhead a shovel of stars for keeps, the people march: 1 Where to? what next?'" Carl Sandburg, The People, Yes, New York; Harcourt, Bruoe, 1936. 2 INTRODUCTION The Cowichan Valley i s located about thirty miles from the southern extremity of Vancouver Island. Running i n a north-westerly direction, cutting diagonally across the Island, i t i s surrounded by rugged, mountainous terrain. These mountains form an almost impassable barrier toward the north and the south, and while they afford a good deal of natural protection from the ad-verse climatic conditions experienced elsewhere on the coast, they also effectively isolate the valley from the remainder of Vancouver Island. In the native dialect the name "Cowiehan1* means "Land Warmed by the Sun". Indeed, the valley i s said to have the most salubrious climate in a l l of Canada. Temperatures are moderate i n winter, and rarely exceed ninety degrees farenheit i n the summer. Moisture-laden winds sweep i n through the low divides separating the north-west end of the valley from the Pacific Ocean. These winds release the greater part of their rains as they reach the coastal belt of mountains. The annual precipi-tation i n the valley ranges from thirty inches i n the south-east to seventy inches i n the north-west. This moisture, coupled with the mild, even temperature caused by the Japan current, creates an environment which has produced one of the most impor-tant forest regions i n the province. The towering Douglas-fir i s the prevalent species, but the swampier areas i n the valley are scattered with stands of cedar, hemlock, and balsam. 3 The well-watered valley i s drained by two principal rivers. The Koksilah, which runs placidly through the low-lands in the southern portion of the valley, has i t s beginnings i n the h i l l s near Shawnigan Lake from where i t flows north for several miles before turning east to empty into Cowiehan Bay. The Cowiehan River, the larger of the two, finds i t s source twenty-six miles from the sea i n a large, inland lake, located at the north-west end of the valley. Spilling out of Cowiehan Lake, the waters swirl and leap for several miles through deep gorges and cany-ons, racing past walls of rock and stands of timber, toward the low-lands of the valley proper. Coming out of the h i l l s the waters slow, and then moodily blend with the warmer tributaries from Somenos and Qnamicham lakes before moving out over the "f l a t s " toward Cowiehan Bay. The f i r s t recorded v i s i t of a white man to the Cowiehan Yalley took place i n 1850, six years after the Hudson's Bay Company had established Fort Victoria, thirty-five miles to the south. However, another twelve years passed before the colonial government would permit public settlement of the area. The rea-son for this delay may be attributed to the presence of the Cowi-ehan Indian nation i n the valley. For i t was one of the largest and most feared on the Pacific Coast. Brown-skinned and stocky, with a Mongolian cast to their features, the Cowiehan included a l l of the independent bands of Indians - the Comiaken, the Som-enos, the Qnamicham, and so on - who dwelt i n the valley. They did not war among themselves, and they joined together for common defence or aggression against enemy tribes or alien intruders. 4 They were a particularly war-like tribe, and i t was common for them to venture as far afield as the Eraser River and along the shores of Puget Sound, raiding and k i l l i n g and taking slaves. During the early years of his administration, James Douglas, Chief Factor for the Hudson's Bay Company at Victoria, calcu-lated that the Cowichans could muster 1,400 warriors. Another estimate, made i n 1858, suggested that there were 4,000 Cowichans living in the v a l l e y . 1 . It i s no wonder then that Douglas made a point of discouraging European settlement of the area. Insofar as the Cowichan Valley was concerned, the possibility of upsett-ing the unstable natives gave the Hudson's Bay Company ample ex-cuse for ignoring their promise to the British government to en-oourage settlement on Vancouver Island. However, as the romance and high adventure of the British Columbia gold-rush faded, many of the disappointed miners, who had sought gold and failed, deoided to remain i n the colony and become the nucleus of permanent settlement. The Cowichan Valley was one of those areas which soon gained their Interest. A gov-ernment survey of the region had been completed i n 1860, and i t was known that there were "45,000 acres of ... superior agricul-tural lands" waiting to be occupied. 2 . In addition, the Indian threat was not nearly so great as i t once had been. The natives 1. Wright, A. J., "The Social and Economic Development of the Dis t r i c t of North Cowichan, 1850 - 1912", U.B.C., B.A. Grad. Essay, 1966, p.9. 2. Wells, Oliver, "General Report on the Cowichan Valley", Col-onial Secretary^ Office, Victoria, Mar. 22, 1860, M.S., B r i t i s h Columbia Provincial Archives. 5 now lived i n their valley i n fear of the white men's ships with their powerful guns; the white man's trading practices were dis-rupting the natives' primitive economy, while his liquor and disease were decimating the tribes. And i f the white man's priests had be l i t t l e d Indian beliefs and mocked their ancient ceremonies, they had also tempered the primitive Indian nature with a religion of peace and brotherly love. So i t was that pressure was brought to bear on the govern-ment to open the Cowiehan d i s t r i c t to general settlement. And on August 19, 1862, H.M.S. Hecate dropped anchor i n the shelt-ered waters of Cowiehan Bay with one hundred settlers on board. This group represented the nucleus of pioneer settlement i n the Cowiehan d i s t r i c t . Pioneer l i f e i n the Cowiehan Valley was not easy. The settlers, who were eager to begin farming, fought continually against the high odds of geography and poor transportation. For many of them i t would be a life-long labour to see the valley of massive trees turned slowly and painfully into farm land. The c r i t i c a l factor i n the community's early development was that of transportation. The agricultural potential of the valley was recognized from the f i r s t , but the primary reason for the slowness i n exploitation of this potential rested on the gov-ernment's failure to provide a regular and inexpensive means of transportation into the d i s t r i c t . Indeed, for twenty-five years following the f i r s t influx of settlers into Cowiehan i n 1862, both the social and economic development of the area were sev-erely handicapped by this lack of means of transportation and 6 communication. The settlers i n Cowichan were elated when, i n 1871, they heard the terms of confederation with Canada. For one thing, the adoption of responsible government in British Columbia would mean that at last they w>uld be able to elect their own repre-sentative to the provincial legislature; but more important, the proposed transcontinental railway was to run through the valley. No longer would they be isolated from Victoria and Nanaimo; no longer would they have to rely on the monthly steamer service as the only means of travel i n and out of the valley; for now they would be connected not only to the rest of Vancouver Island, but to the whole of CanadaI Here was a hitherto undreamt of oppor-tunity for the farmers of the area. There was only one draw-back to the plan, and while i t appeared to be a small price to pay in 1871, i t was to cause a complete cessation of growth i n the Cowichan Valley for the next twelve years. A grant to the Federal Government to help finance construc-tion of the railway put a reserve on a l l unsettled lands for twenty miles on either side of the proposed line. This "give away" clamped a reserve on a l l of the available lands in the Cowichan Valley and u n t i l the railway was completed in 1886, no new settlers were able to purchase property in the d i s t r i c t . The Municipality of North Cowichan was incorporated on June 18, 1873. This second oldest rural municipality in British Col-umbia was formed in the belief that the settlers could handle their own affairs, particularly the task of road construction and maintenance, "far better than someone sitting in an office 7 in Victoria". This assumption was proven to he correct, and within a few years the roads i n the valley were described as some of the best i n the province. This local progress did not, however, alleviate the problem of winning a means of land comm-unication with the rest of the Island. The government remained obdurate. A road through the mountains would not be necessary once the railway was completed. But the railway was nowhere i n sight, and the Cowiehan Valley was paying a heavy price for the delay. A l l signs of progress i n the young community had dis-appeared as soon as the land restriction had come into effect. However, i n 1883, William Smithe, Cowiehan*s Member of the Legislative Assembly, became premier of the Provinoe of British Columbia, and he quickly cleared the way for construction of the Bsquimalt and Nanaimo Railway. His "peaoe party" pushed through the Settlement Act of 1883, and the Walkem faction, which had previously blocked any effective movements to get the railway construction started, was discredited. "Smithe ... was compet-ent and brought to his position the essential qualities of pru-dence and sound experience which were needed to guide the legis-lature baok onto the right path." In the Cowiehan d i s t r i c t the removal of the r e s t r i c t i o n on the railway belt was as important as the construction of the line i t s e l f . For four years, commencing from December, 1883, the en-t i r e grant, with the exception of mineral lands, was opened for 3. Sage, W. N., "Federal Parties and Provincial Groups in B r i t -ish Columbia", British Columbia Historical Quarterly, Vol. XII, 1948,- p.158. 8 settlement at the rate of one dollar per acre. * i t was during this four year period that Cowiohan began to receive a large num-ber of English remittance men and retired English military and c i v i l o f f i c i a l s who would within a few years of their arrival completely alter the social structure of the d i s t r i c t . The completion of the Esquimalt and Nanaimo Railway was the turning point i n the Cowichan di s t r i c t ' s early development. Gone was the uncertain reliance on the monthly steamer service, as daily trains began to run to and from Victoria and Nanaimo. No longer were the steamer ports of Cowichan Bay and Maple Bay the focal points of the community. Overnight the centre of gravity shifted toward the heartland of the valley, toward the railroad. Prior to 1886, agriculture had been the only successfully est-ablished economy i n the valley, but with the completion of the Esquimalt and Nanaimo, a new er£& of opportunity was opened up. Small villages soon sprang up around the several railway stations i n the region. Cobble H i l l , Koksilah, Duncan, Somenos, and Chem-ainus a l l had stations with regular agents. However, i t was Dunoan's Station on i t s original Alderlea townsite whioh soon grew into something more than the usual station community. Its location made i t the logical centre for the whole d i s t r i c t , and from a small beginning Duncan grew steadily to become what might be called the "county town". The railway saved not only Cowichan, but the whole of Van-couver Island from the "utter backwardness" of the economic 4. Audain, James, From Coalmine to Castle. Pageant Press, New York, 1955, p.80" [ ; . 9 depression into which i t had been slipping, and made possible the development of the Island's rich mineral, agricultural, and lumbering potentials. The stimulated population growth which began during the last decade of the nineteenth century soon cre-ated an enlarged home market for agricultural produce, and for the f i r s t time Cowiehan*s farmers found i t possible to compete with American agricultural importations. Logging, the only other industry which had been attempted i n the pre-railway era, had suffered from many of the same prob-lems as agriculture. The lack of a cheap and readily available means of transportation had made the cost of production almost prohibitive, while the need of a continuing, large, stable mar-ket had discouraged investment in the industry. With the comp-letion of the railway, however, a new interest i n lumbering was stimulated. The Canadian Pacific Railway opened the way to the vast market on the Canadian Prairies, while the Panama Canal simultaneously made the American seaboard and Eastern Canadian markets available. With buoyant optimism and unbounded confidence the people of Cowiehan r a l l i e d to expibit the new opportunities for progress. Rapidly the last vestiges of the earlier pioneer period were er-ased. A mining boom i n the Mount Sicker region during the open-ing years of the twentieth century gave rise to s t i l l more pros-perous times and an ever increasing population. Simultaneously, the advent of the automobile augmented the expansion of rural settlement i n the valley, and enhanced the position of Duncan as community centre. 10 By 1912, Duncan had a population of 1}500 and was taking on a l l the signs of a thriving, young city. An ever increasing number of businesses supplied the needs of the "upper-class*1 British, as well as those of the farmer-settlers, the miners, and the ever increasing number of loggers who came to town each pay-day with their pockets f u l l of cash. On Maroh 4, 1912, the Oity of Duncan received i t s letters patent and the new council, headed b y Mayor Kenneth Duncan, began to remedy those hardships which the town had experienced under the larger rural, North Cowichan municipality. Expansion continued over the next two years and was only slowed with the outbreak of the First World War. The prosperous, fun-filled days came to an end for Cowichan i n August, 1914. This valley, so far re-moved from the battle lines, was, perhaps closer in s p i r i t to the conflict than any other part of Canada. Rapidly the young, and not-so-very-young men joined the Services, and before the war was over Cowichan claimed the highest percentage of enlistments of any community i n the country. 5. . . . . . . . . 5. Noreross, E. B., The Warm Land, Evergreen Press, Nanaimo, 1959, p.80. 11 Chapter I THE PEOPLE: A BUILDER On the evening of November 11, 1918, an elderly Cowiohan resident penned the following words in his diary: Peace declared. Heard guns, whistles and bells going about 2 o'clock this morning. Great cele-bration i n Duncan today ... The Prohibitionists ought to be hung. Influenza epidemic no matter. 1. For the f i r s t time in four years the people of Cowichan were aware of peace. With a sense of pardonable pride i n their mag-nificent war effort the citizens of the area declared the day a public holiday. Far into the next night the celebrations con-tinued as the streets, alight with the glare of blazing torches, echoed with the explosion of fireworks and the laughter of happy, relieved people. At the height of the f e s t i v i t i e s , a mock-trial was held on the steps of city h a l l , and Judge Maitland-Dougall, whose two sons had died i n the trenches of Europe, pronounced to six hundred cheering citizens that the Kaiser should be hanged 2 by the neck and burned at the stake. * It i s no wonder that feelings ran so high in Cowichan, for as early as December, 1915, The Cowichan Leader had reported that "Practically a l l of our men have gone (to the war) ..." In the f i n a l reckoning, 1,066 soldiers, sailors and nurses served and of those, 157 former residents gave up their lives. The 1. Green, Mark, "Diary", cited i n Noreross, E. B., The Warm  Land, Evergreen Press, Nanaimo, 1959, p.70 2. The Cowichan Leader. November 14, 1918, p . l . 12 burden of sorrow bad been heavy to bear. However the war was now over and there were many pressing problems to be dealt with at home. Already hundreds of the vet-erans were returning and they must be f i t t e d into peace-time occ-upations. The entire community was being ravaged by a fierce attack of Asiatic influenza; schools were forced to close, church services were cancelled and public meetings of any sort were s t r i c t l y forbidden by the local health o f f i c e r . And then, just two weeks after the Armistice, the Cowiehan area received notice of yet another kind of war f a t a l i t y . Major W. H. Hayward, who had held the Cowiehan seat in the Provincial Legislature for the past eleven years, had resigned so that he might join a commiss-ion i n Ottawa being organized to care for returning veterans. This necessitated a bye-election as soon as possible i f Cowiehan was to have leadership i n i t s post-war reconstruction. During his years as a Member of the Legislative Assembly, Major Hayward, a Conservative, had been a consistent supporter of S i r Richard McBride. He had maintained his seat through four provincial elections, the last of which had been held i n 1916, while he was serving overseas. In 1912 he had been appointed chairman of the Royal Commission on Agriculture, and for two sessions he had been Deputy Speaker of the House. Now, with his retirement following so hard upon the conclusion of the war, an appeal was made in Cowiehan "for the people to be worthy of themselves, to bury this hateful and destructive party feeling 13 and endeavour to secure the best man possible for the most re-ft sponsible position in their g i f t . " * The Cowichan Provincial Unionist League was formed i n an effort to have the local Liber-a l and Conservative representatives avoid past fights by joining together to select one looal oandidate* On January 9, 19S0, The Leader published a l i s t of those needs which should be met i f the Cowichan area was to success-f u l l y oome through the reconstruction period. The most import-ant general need was for the absolute elimination of patronage, for only then could an independent candidate be successful. As a means toward this end, i t was f e l t that a committee should be formed, representative of a l l parties and interests i n Cowichan, to advise the member. In addition, there should henceforth be f a i r distribution of provincial government service business be-tween a l l business firms i n the d i s t r i c t . To assist the farmers of Cowichan i t was suggested that there be a reduction of taxes i n unorganized d i s t r i c t s ; a re-duction of rates on provincial government farm loans; a dist-r i c t representative devoting f u l l time to farmers; i n i t i a t i o n of a permanent seed-growing industry in the valley; formation of a farmers* union in every section, and amalgamation of such locals into a d i s t r i c t union; and institution of machinery to direct, standardize and market the whole produce of the d i s t r i c t . Increased provision for local land settlement should be made by acquiring logged-off lands, unused Indian reserves, and other suitable properties in the valley, for settlement by desirable 3. The Cowichan Leader. December 5, 1918, p.4. 14 ex-soldiers and British immigrants. Adequate grants for road construction and maintenance and for a new provincial court house in Duncan were among the other proposals put forward. For the improvement of educational f a c i l i t i e s , i t was f e l t that a system of school consolidation was desirable so that rural schol-ars might enjoy equal advantages with those i n the larger centres. Two candidates came forward to contest the vacant Cowiehan seat. Major E. B. Edwards, a "returned soldiers'" candidate was the nominee of the Cowicham branch of the Great War Veterans' Association. His opponent, Pte. Kenneth F. Duncan, was nominat-ed by the Cowiehan Liberal Association and the Cowiehan Union League. From the f i r s t i t was evident that Duncan, even though he was not yet returned from overseas, had a deoided advantage over the outsider, Major Edwards. At thirty-seven years of age, Duncan was well-known in the community. His father, William C. Duncan, was one of Cowiehan's earliest pioneer settlers and the founder of the City of Duncan. Kenneth had served the local far-mers as an officer in the Cowiohan Agricultural Society, the City as i t s f i r s t mayor in 1912, and the whole area as president of the local Board of Trade. Being a returned soldier himself, he was familiar with the needs of the veterans as well as being f u l l y conversant with the conditions and requirements of the di s t r i c t as a whole. Running as an "independent soldier", Dun-4 ~ ean edged out Edwards by 76 votes. 4. The Cowiehan Leader. January 30, 1919, p . l . 15 Meanwhile, the problem of finding employment for the large numbers of returned soldiers was being solved i n large part by the demands for labour from the rapidly developing lumber indus-try i n the valley. In 1919 the orders for lumber were so heavy 5 that the need could not be met. * General expansion i n the i n -dustry had made the past year the most outstanding in the history of Vancouver Island's lumber industry. One reason for this un-precedented prosperity was an order placed with the Association of Timber Exporters of British Columbia by the British Timber Controller for 70,000,000 feet of timber and ties for the British Railways. Large orders were also being received from the Canad-ian Prairies, Eastern Canada and American markets. Local demand was also showing decided improvement due to large building oper-ations and to the increased requirements of the Victoria ship-yards. Several local mills were rapidly increasing their size, bringing in more modern equipment and opening new plants to try to meet the increased demand. The Shawnigan Lake Lumber Company, whose old plant had been destroyed by f i r e six months before, established an entirely new plant with a capacity which was i n -creased by f i f t y percent. The 100,000 feet a day Genoa Bay M i l l was one of the most active on the Island as i t sought to keep up with orders from Eastern Canada, Britain, and South Afrioa. While the huge Victoria Lumber and Manufacturing Company's m i l l at Chemainus was setting a pace that no m i l l i n the province 5. Western Lumberman, October, 1919, cited in The Cowichan Leader, October 25, 1919, p . l . 16 could match; using the latest machinery, they were busily turn-ing out timbers up to 110 feet in length. In addition to these larger mills, with their associated logging operations, there were at least thirty other firms offering attractive employment opportunities to the returning men. Unfortunately, some of the Cowiehan mills began to experi-ence some d i f f i c u l t y in securing an adequate supply of logs dur-ing the summer of 1919, as f r i c t i o n with labour in the logging camps began to impede output. The troubles were confined for the most part to logging camps isolated i n the wilderness around Cowiehan Lake, several of whioh were closed down at various times owing to strikes. A large part of the problem stemmed from the revitalization of the Socialist Party in British Columbia follow-ing the war. But more particularly, the trouble stemmed from a group of radicals who had formed the Lumber Workers' Industrial Union, and who encouraged the loggers to strike for higher wages and better living conditions. Agriculture, Cowiehan's only other major source of income, had a very rewarding year immediately following the war, as a reoord turnover of $272,863 was recorded by the Cowiehan Co-operative Creameryi the 198 shareholders receiving a f u l l six pereent dividend on their share capital. During the year, 114,392 pounds of butter were manufactured at an average selling price of 66.10 per pound, while 62,779 dozen eggs had brought an average return of 60.60 per dozen. * Other features of the ag-r i c u l t u r a l year had been the formation of a Poultryman's Union 6. The Cowiehan Leader. December 25, 1919, p . l . 17 and the continued development of selective seed-growing In the d i s t r i c t . While the absorption of Cowichan1s own returned soldiers was progressing very smoothly, 1919 also saw the arr i v a l of well over one hundred new families in the d i s t r i c t . These people were being settled under the auspices of the federally sponsored Soldier's Settlement Board. They were given a sum of money, a few acres of land, and i t was expected that they would establish themselves in some branch of agriculture. The local Women's Institute was very active in i t s efforts to assist these new arrivals, as they sought to improve the conditions of rural l i f e so that settlement might be permanent and prosperous in the 7 farming community. * Another interesting post-war development took place early in 1920, as Cowichan's leading clergy and laymen formed a fore-runner to the church union movement of 1925, called the Forward Movement. They stressed that the Movement would not only draw the community's churches closer together, but that i t would make a contribution toward reconstruction greater than that of any other agenoy. The Movement, which was national in scope, was made up of Anglicans, Methodists, Baptists, Congregationalists, and Pres-byterians, working i n s t r i c t union. They f e l t that the next ten years would determine the future of the world. War had cre-ated a situation "out of which would come nothing which could not stand the test of f i r e " , and whether this should be for 7. The Cowichan Leader, February 1, 1920, p.6. 18 better or worse depended on the spiritual contribution of the Church of Christ. The church's answer to this world challenge was summed up in the Forward Movement. In i t Canadians should try to create a new church for a new day. "The old standards are not suffic-ient. We cannot hold the country for Christ unless there be 8 greater development." * "God was more in our thought during the years of war. Of what avail our community services and pray-ers during the maelstrom i f now there be no community thanks." * The community gave thanks to the value of $11,203.85 when the Forward Movement made an appeal for funds in Cowiehan, but l i t t l e more was heard of the Movement once the i n i t i a l crusade and fund drive were completed. Meanwhile, the farmers i n the Cowiehan area were becoming more vocal i n their dissatisfaction with the weaknesses of the provincial economy. They resented the general failure of either the Liberal or Conservative party to make government serve the public interest. It appeared to them that the provincial govern-ment was only interested i n serving party interest. Their annoy-ance with this situation had given rise to the appeal for only non-partisan candidates i n the bye-election which followed the war. And now, as the post-war agricultural slump began to close in, the farmers' complaints were registered in ever increasing volume, unt i l , in February, 1920, they decided to take action. One hundred of the valley's farmers joined together to organize 8. The Cowiehan Leader. February 12, 1920, p . l . 9* Ibid.. February 5, 1920, p . l . 19 for p o l i t i c a l purposes. They planned to form a d i s t r i c t branch of the United Farmers of Bri t i s h Columbia, an organization which had originally appeared i n the province i n 1917. "It made an appeal to those farmers who favoured p o l i t i c a l organization a-long class lines and who were willing to follow the leadership of prairie agrarians." The local leaders of the movement, J. Y. Copeman, S. W. Neel and W. Waldon, pointed out to those farmers who were hesitant i n joining the U.F.B.C., that i f they thought that the Cowichan Creamery was sufficient to look after the farmer's interests, they were gravely mistaken. "The union i s going to redeem the country." 1 1* In a fiery editorial, Hugh Savage, the editor of the inde-pendent Cowichan Leader, took to task those farmers who were not doing their bit by joining the union. He urged that now was the time to elect representatives from the several local farmers* unions i n the valley and to form a d i s t r i c t union. If such a step were taken, then a l l the farmers i n Cowichan could speak with one voice. He concluded: I say to you brother farmers, let us wipe the slate of party p o l i t i c s . The man or women to be admired today i s the independent voter, not tied to any p o l i t i c a l p a r t y . i 2 > The small locals soon took Savage's advice, forming a d i s t r i c t association of the U.F.B.C., with J. Y. Copeman as president and 10. Ormsby, M. A., British Columbia: a History. MacMillans, 1958, Vancouver, p.411. 11. The Cowichan Leader. February 25, 1920, p.4. 12 • Loc. c i t . 20 13. E, W. Neel as vice-president of the new body. The returned soldiers were s t i l l another group i n the Cow-iehan d i s t r i c t who were dissatisfied with the party system in British Columbia. As a result, they too decided to take some form of p o l i t i c a l action. In 1920, forty veterans broke away from the local branch of the Great War Veterans* Association and 14. set up a branch of the Grand Army of United Veterans. * This organization was declared to be neither Bolshevic, red nor soci-a l i s t , but was interested only i n trying to get veterans to stand together to obtain their rights. J. L. Miller, provincial organizer for the G.A.U.V., argued that the G.W.V.A. had reached the end of i t s effectiveness be-cause the members of the latter organization were not willing to take p o l i t i c a l action. He stressed that the prime objective of the G.A.U.V. was the re-establishment of every returned man. The f i r s t plank of his group's platform dealt with the payment by the federal government of $2,000 to every man who had gone to France, $1,500 to men who had been i n England, and $1,000 to men who had served i n Canada. It was proposed to raise the $340,000,000 re-quired either by confiscation of war profits, or by compelling the Canadian Pacific Railway to pay taxes on land given by the 15 Dominion, or by indemnities from Germany. Other planks covered almost every conceivable subject from pensions payable to dependents to the abolition of money q u a l i f i -cations for municipal candidates. Proportional representation; 13. The Cowiehan Leader, May 27, 1920, p . l . 14. Ibid., September 11, 1920, p . l . 15. Ibid., September 23, 1920, p.2. 21 bars to Asiatic immigration; election to the senate; i n i t i a t i o n , referendum, and r e c a l l ; taxes on unimproved land values; publi-cation of ownership of daily newspapers; reform of the banking system; and advocacy of public ownership of forests, mines and o i l wells were a l l contained in the agenda. In October, 1920, a rather different platform was drawn up i n Dunoan by the directors of the United Farmers of British Col-umbia. This platform, which was to be placed before the associ-ation's annual convention i n February, 1921, contained the f o l l -owing seven planks: 1. The influencing of legislation i n the furtherance of oooperation and cooperative trading for the benefit of the whole community. 2. The appointment of a permanent road board for the maintenance of existing roads and for the devel-opment of further requirements. 3. Compulsory development of natural water powers where undeveloped, according to local requirements. 4. More efficient control of Immigration. 5. The establishment of a rural credits system. 6. Reform of the system of c i v i l service with ade-quacy of pay and pension with a view to increased effioienty. 7. Re-afforestation of logged off lands unfit for agricultural purposes. 16. K. F. Dunoan, Cowichan1s Member of the Legislative Assem-bly, addressed the directors of the U.F.B.C., urging them to become an independent p o l i t i o a l foroe i n the province, Their organization now had 140 locals operating i n British Columbia, with a total membership of over 4,500 members. The farmers of 16. The Cowichan Leader. October 21, 1920, p . l . 22 British Columbia might represent only fifteen percent of the population, but they had an influence far beyond their c i r c l e . If a private member had behind him a strong farmers' organizat-ion he would get results. However, the TJ.F.B.C. decided that they were not yet well enough organized to take part in the pro-v i n c i a l election which Premier John Oliver had called for Dec-ember 1, 1920. As a result, the election in Cowiehan was fought out between K. F. Duncan, who was s t i l l running as an Independent, and G> A. Cheeke, the Conservative eondidate. In his f i n a l campaign speech, Duncan pointed out to the farmers of the area that whereas in 1917/18 $19,800 and i n 1918/19 $21,600 had been spent on Cowiehan roads, during the past two years the amounts spent had been 17 $47,800 and $42,000 respectively. ' This was a t e l l i n g point i n a d i s t r i o t where many men augmented their incomes with seasonal roadwork. Another point i n Duncan's favour was his acceptance during the preceding session of a "non-partisan committee" made up of representative from a l l parts of the riding whose task i t was to advise the si t t i n g member on local problems and opinions. On Deoember 1, Cowiehan "lived up to i t s reputation" by re-storing K. F. Duncan to his seat i n the provincial capital. He 18 received a total of 1,053 votes to Cheeke's 940. During this same election another item of considerable con-troversy was settled by means of a province wide plebiscite. For some time public criticism had been increasing in Cowiehan over 17. The Cowiehan Leader. December 2, 1920, p . l . 18. Loc. c i t . 23 what had come to be regarded by many as the iniquitous Prohib-i t i o n Act. For the past four years the community had been l i v -ing what was described as one large and deplorable l i e . In an effort to wipe out the prohibition measure, the "moderates" or-ganized the Cowichan Liberty League, i t s object being to secure as large a majority as possible in favour of government control of liquor sales. The League held meetings throughout the v a l l -ey, urging the moderates to wake-up. England had not stood for the referendum. The people of British Columbia had to thank the United States - "the home of freakdom and hysteria" - for i t . Prohibition was a failure! On December 1, the effectiveness of the Liberty League's efforts were indicated as the "iniquitous, fanatioal and despotic" Prohibition Act was defeated in Cowichan, 1,599 to 598. The principle of government control of liquor sales was well received throughout the province, and i n the f o l l -owing year the Liquor Control Board was set up in Victoria. By the end of 1920 the Cowichan Leader was able to report that the d i s t r i c t , with an ever increasing population, was stead-19. i l y forging ahead. Until recent weeks local business had been very good. Lumber development had demonstrated phenomenal growth at the outset of the year with a dozen new plants commencing op-erations. Unfortunately the farmers had experienced an unsatis-factory season due to increasing costs, diminishing profits, and unseasonably hot, dry weather. Another serious outbreak of the influenza during the early months of the year had also contributed 19. The Cowichan Leader. December 30, 1920, p . l . 24 to their d i f f i c u l t i e s . At the annual meeting of the Board of Trade, i n May, 1921, the tone of the president's report was not optimistic. It was conceded that the d i s t r i c t was facing the "troubled seas of 20 business readjustment". * A serious post-war depression was beginning to affect the whole d i s t r i c t . Particularly hard-hit were the many farmers in the valley. It was f e l t to be inevit-able that the obstacles to the profitable development of Cowieh-an* s immense timber resources would be overcome, but the farmers had many adverse factors to consider. Once again the report stressed that the day of agricultural individualism belonged to the past. Cooperation was the only present means of solution -indeed the only preventative of failure. With the threat of large numbers of men being unemployed during the winter, the Cowiehan Leader, in an editorial entitled "Find Men Work", returned to a theme which stemmed from the ear-l i e s t days of settlement in the valley, that of the Oriental men-ace. The strong feeling against the Chinese may be traced back to the early gold-rush years i n British Columbia and to the d i f f -i c u l t depression which followed them. Wow, with the post-war depression setting in, the pattern was repeating i t s e l f . The Asiatics, who made up nearly 15$ of the population i n Cowiehan, were labouring on the land and in the mills for wages which would 21 not support the white population. With opportunities for em-ployment becoming more scarce, feelings of r a c i a l antagonism to-20. The Cowiehan Leader. May 10, 1921, p . l . 21. Seventh Census of Canada, 1951, Vol. II, Local Subdivisions, King»s Printer, Ottawa, p.140. 25 ward the Chinese became widespread among the population. The Leader supported this bitter issue with editorials like that which follows: It has always struck us that a way might be found - and should be found - to employ thousands of able bodied men of British stock in the lumber camps instead of the aliens who now comprise so large a proportion of our loggers and lumberjacks. g 2 Within weeks many members of the Duncan Board of Trade and of the Duncan branch of the Retail Merchant's Association were enrolling themselves i n a local branch of the Asiatic Sxoluslon League, the aims of which were summarized as follows: 1. To work for a White Canada. 2. To eradicate the Oriental menace by every means in our power. 3. To educate the people of this country to the terrible effect of allowing Orientals a foot-hold i n Canada. gg The League, whose membership numbered 2,300 in Vancouver and 1,300 in Victoria, hoped to win the support of 150,000, or 75$ of the provincial electorateu before pressing their proposals at Ottawa. Fortunately, the post-war depression was showing definite signs of weakening by the end of 1921. Many new homes were evi-dent i n the d i s t r i c t , while the real-estate business was enjoy-ing a good deal of renewed activity. In the City of Duncan, i t was reported that business premises were at a premium. The Cow-ichan Creamery Association's membership had increased to 255, as 22. The Cowichan Leader. August 18, 1921, p.4. 23. Ibid., August 25, 1921, p.4. 26 more farmers realized that to survive they must join the cooper-ative; while increased business had necessitated the construct-24. ion of a new office and warehouse complex for the Creamery. In addition, a branch of the British Columbia Berry Growers Ass-ociation had been established to assist those who were entering this new f i e l d of agricultural endeavour. Hearty praise was offered to Duncan's mayor, W. P i t t , as he announced his retirement in January, 1922, following three years of administration. He l e f t office with a record not yet surpassed in the city's brief history. Because of the general post-war slump, his years in office could not be ealled spectac-ular, but he had succeeded in bringing the city out of a finan-c i a l rut and into a position which was the envy of most other city municipalities. During 1921, the m i l l rate for the City of Dunoan stood at twenty-nine. Out of thirty-two other city municipalities in the province, there was only one that was lower, that being Port Moody, which had a m i l l rate of twenty-five. The average for the thirty-three c i t i e s worked out to be 40.03 mills. The aver-age tax per head for the thirty-three c i t i e s was |38.67. The City of Duncan levied taxes totalling $22,719.22, which when divided among the population of 1,200 showed an average tax per person of $18.93.25* 24. The Cowiehan Leader, December 22, 1921, p . l . During 1921 the Creamery had manufactured 161,401 pounds of butter as compared with 121,281 pounds in 1920, while 250,090 dozen eggs had been handled, representing an increase of 111,651 dozen over 1920. 25. Ibid., August 24, 1922,p.l. 27 Mayor Pitt's policy had simply been to restore the city's finances to a sound condition before incurring further obligat-ions* His aim had been successfully achieved and how the entire personnel of the eity council was seeking re-election, asking for an opportunity to build and go forward on the safe foundation that they had laboriously won. Further evidence of the slowly improving economic condition in the Cowichan area was revealed i n 1922, as the municipal tax assessments in both the City of Duncan and the Municipality of North Cowiohan were reduced. The report of the Board of Trade in August of the same year showed, however, that circumstances were s t i l l a long way from being perfect. A continued business slump i n the city was said to be caused not so much on account of the general depression, as by the competition of the large Victoria department stores. This competition bore heavily on the local merchants who were forced to give credit while the outsiders got cash. The dumber industry was forging ahead however, as export figures stood higher than they had for some years. The large Chemainus m i l l had cut a total of some 42,000,000 feet for the year, while the figure for the Genoa Bay m i l l stood at 25,000,000 26. feet. Prospects for 1923 looked very good. This increase in lumber output was in part attributable to the completion of the new Canadian National Railway line from southern Vancouver Island through the western portion of the Cow-ichan Valley to Lake Cowichan. For the new line had opened up 26. The Cowichan Leader, December 28, 1922, p . l . ( 28 immense areas of timber which had hitherto been inaccessible. Throughout the construction period of the new line the Dunoan Board of Trade had urged the Canadian National Railway authorit-ies to build a branch line from the existing new line to Cowiehan Bay, on the valley's east coast. Their argument was based on solid business facts. The r a i l haul from Cowiehan Lake to Cowi-ehan Bay would only be twenty?three miles, once the eight mile spur was completed. The bay, which was free of teredos, offered excellent booming-ground f a c i l i t i e s , and the water haul to Van-couver was only f i f t y - f i v e miles. On the existing Canadian Nat-ional line the r a i l haul from Cowiehan Lake to Victoria was sev-enty-five miles. However, the Canadian National authorities claimed that they could not see their way clear to make the nec-essary expenditure for the eight mile spur and the matter was set aside. Early in 1922, private interests i n the valley took up the proposed spur-line scheme themselves. H. W. Bevan, E. F. Miller, and J. Mutter joined together to form the Cowiehan Bay Railway Company. This local i n i t i a t i v e must have convinced those in Ott-awa of the merit of the scheme however, for before the construct-ion of the line was completed a year later, the Canadian National interests were back in control of the project. By 1922, i t appeared that the Cowiehan area was well on the way to recovery from the depression, but the farmers i n the v a l l -ey were s t i l l having a d i f f i c u l t time of i t . The previous winter had been extremely cold and this unusually severe weather had been followed by a spring and summer of hot, dry conditions. As a re-sult, there had been a very poor crop of small f r u i t s , while most 29 grasses and grains had been burned in the f i e l d s . By the end of the season, i t was estimated that the majority of the valley's farmers would require two good years to compensate for the losses sustained during the previous twelve months. This c r i t i c a l situation brought to the fore once again that latent discontent with which the farmers of the area viewed the p o l i t i c a l and economic condition of the province. It i s not sur-prising either, to find that many of them were eager to lend their support to a new party whcih sprang up in British Columbia in 1923. Headed by General A. D. McRae, a millionaire from Van-couver, the Provincial Party, as i t was called, pledged i t s e l f to concentrate on provincial needs and to disavow any connection with the federal parties. The main features of the party mani-festo and platform concerned the financial situation in British Columbia. "In the course of the year, the 'Put Oliver out and don't let Bowser in' movement gathered into i t s folds remnants of the U.F.B.C. and the Soldiers' Party, c r i t i c s of the party system, 27 and disaffected Liberals and Conservatives". Late in 1923 an event took place in Victoria which soon had the whole population of the Cowichan area up i n arms against the Oliver government. In a surprise move during the presentation of the Redistribution B i l l , the premier announced that the govern-ment intended to s p l i t the Cowichan riding down the middle. The area south of the Cowichan River would be joined with Esquimalt while the area north of the river would be amalgamated with the 2 7 • Ormsby, British Columbia: a History, p.421. 30 Socialist, Newcastle riding. Cowiehan's member, K. F. Duncan, accused the government of having succumbed to the protests from Victoria businessmen ag-ainst the proposed reduction of that city's representation from 28 four to three members. * He reminded the premier that the or-igin a l intention of the government had been to retain Cowiehan, a copy of the original plan being in the Cowiehan member's poss-ession despite the efforts of the government to have a l l such copies destroyed. Duncan continued: I want to make the strongest protest against what i s nothing more or less than a public scandal. There has been a tendency to sneer against Englishmen. I am a Canadian but i t i s unjustifiable to say Eng-lishmen are not good settlers. In no d i s t r i c t of the Empire did you find a more ready response to the c a l l of war; hardly a d i s t r i c t l e f t behind in the f i e l d more of i t s men. When conscription came there was hardly a man l e f t in Cowiehan to be conscripted. ... Is i t any wonder that they (the people of Cowiehan) want to preserve the identity of their d i s t r i c t . ... Liberalism in my d i s t r i c t , i f this i s carried through, w i l l be wiped out for a generation. 29. Samuel Guthrie, the Labour representative from the Newcastle riding, protested that his constituency was being robbed of i t s seat because i t had been returning Labour members for the past twenty years. He went on to point out that there was absolutely no community of interest between the two ridings. It would be impossible for any member to represent satisfactorily two such divirgent interests as mining and.agriculture. The impassioned pleading was of no avail however. Guthrie and Duncan were 28. The Cowiohan Leader, December 20, 1923, p . l . 29. Duncan, K. F., "Legislative Speech", cited in The Cowiohan  Leader, December 20, 1923, p . l . 31 supported by the Conservatives and the bona fide Independents, in the House on the question of the division, but they lost the vote 22 to 19. With a l l of Cowiohan in an uproar over the injustice of the Redistribution Act, i t did not take much persuasion to arouse i n -terest i n the provincial election of 1924. The incumbent, K. F. Duncan, abandoned his stand as an Independent and joined the forces of the Provincial Party. The Cowichan Dis t r i c t Association of the Provincial Party was formed in February, 1924, with an in-30 i t i a l 200 pledges. * When General McRae, leader of the new party, addressed the Cowichan electorate in the month of May, the Duncan Opera House was f i l l e d to overflowing with an enthusiastic audi-ence. Kenneth Duncan's chances of re-election under the new party banner looked very good. Nomination day brought forward a f u l l slate of candidates in the enlarged Cowichan-Newcastle riding. C. F. Davie was nomin-ated as the Conservative standard bearer. This new oandidate was the son of the Hon. Alexander E. B. Davie, Q.C., a former premier and attorney-general of the province, and a nephew of the Hon. Theodore Davie, also a past premier and attorney-general of Br i t -ish Columbia. Born i n Victoria, Davie had studied law i n the office of the attorney-general before moving to Duncan in 1919 to establish his own private law practive. Samuel Guthrie, the incumbent from the Newcastle riding, was running again on the Labour ticket. A comparatively young man, Guthrie had come to Ladysmith from Scotland in 1911 to work i n 30. The Cowiohan Leader, February 21, 1924, p . l . 32 the mines. The strike of 1912 gave him scope for actual and vigorous dissemination of his views on social economy and he att-ributed his election to the legislature to the respect of his constituents earned i n the strike, and more especially to the fact that he was among those who were sentened to one and a half years on a charge of unlawful assembly. In the 1920 election Guthrie had been elected over a variety of candidates including the socialist leader, J. H. Hawthornthwaite, with whose actions Guthrie's fellow workmen had become dissatisfied. The Liberal party's candidate for the 1924 election was W. W. Walkem, a prominent Ladysmith businessman, who was serving his third term as mayor of that vi l l a g e . Like Davie, whose fam-i l y name was well-known i n provincial p o l i t i c s , the Liberal can-didate's uncle, G. A. Walkem., was a past premier and attorney-general of British Columbia. When the votes were t a l l i e d on June 20, i t was found that C. F. Davie, the Conservative, had topped the polls with a total vote of 1,152 and a plurality of 115 votes. His nearest oppon-ent was Guthrie with 1,037, while Duncan and Walkem followed with 31. 779 and 673 respectively. The voters of Cowiehan had app-arently not been ready to follow Kenneth Duncan into the Provin-c i a l Party, whioh, "by prostituting the farmers' movement ... had 32 ended i t s p o l i t i c a l chances. ..." * Instead, having discarded their post-war non-partison stand, the electorate had returned Cowiehan to its traditional Conservative allegiance. A referendum on the question of selling beer by the glass 31. The Cowiohan Leader. June 26, 1924, p . l . 32. Ormsby, Brit i s h Columbia: a History, p. 424. 33 had received a majority of 1,968 votes to 1,269 in the riding. However the proposal was defeated in most other ridings in the province, so that the government decided not to implement the measure. Beer parlours were s t i l l a thing of the future. The f a i l i n g condition of the lumber market was the basic cause for a sustained slump i n business activity in the Cowiohan d i s t r i c t during 1924. The loss by f i r e of the large Victoria Lumber and Manufacturing Co. m i l l in Chemainus during the prev-ious November had made for a considerable amount of unemployment in the valley, as more than five hundred men lost their jobs. C. J?. Davie's maiden speech in the Legislature emphasized the seriousness of the d i s t r i c t ' s economic condition. Two of the basic industries of my constituency, namely, timber and agriculture, are at a very low ebb, and while I hope I am not peurile enough to lay the whole blame for this depression at the door of the govern-ment, I blame them severely for whatever hand they have had i n conducing to our present condition. ... This constituency has been most grossly discriminated against by the present Liberal government.... We have ... been most studiously neglected. ... Our main highways are i n a most disgracefully dilapidated condition. 3 3 # Davie went on to point out that during the years 1919 to 1923, the sum of |8,000,000 had been borrowed for capital ex-penditure upon the roads of the province. Out of those moneys the Liberal constituency of Kamloops had received $366,701.93. The constituency of the minister of public works (Hon. Dr. Suth-erland) had received $586,915.43; and the premier's former r i d -ing of Delta had secured the lion's share of over one million 33. The Cowiohan Leader. November 27, 1924, p.6. 34 dollars! What, Mr. Speaker, from this fund did Cowiohan Newcastle receive? " A l l ye who have tears prepare to shed them now!" Cowiehan received exactly $15,089.06 and poor old Newcastle got the pittance of $5,000. ... And now we are told that, to spite us for not re-turning a Liberal member, we are to lose the government agency at Duncan. ... Si r , in order to allay any false hopes which may find lodgment i n the breasts of the hon-ourable members opposite, I doubt i f Cowiehan w i l l ever return a Liberal to this House.„. 04. Another extended period of hot, dry weather during the summer of 1924, was largely responsible for the severity of the depression during that year. The Cowiohan Creamery reported a severe drop in sales over 1923, as cream shipments failed due to a lack of suitable pasture. In an effort to relieve the hard-pressed farmers, the Municipality of North Cowiehan saw i t s way clear to reduce the tax rate by two mills. This reduction also gave some measure of r e l i e f to property holding loggers, who had lost a good deal of working time due to a prolonged forest clos-ure. The eight hour working day, which came into effect under provincial statute i n the forest industry i n January, 1925, caused considerable concern among local m i l l operators. The new law seriously curtailed the capacity of those mills which could not afford to begin running two shifts a day. The Mayo Lumber Comp-any's m i l l , located eight miles west of Duncan, had been one of the largest producers i n the valley i n 1924, with a total cut of 20,000,000 feet of lumber, while the 175 men who were employed i n the m i l l and the logging operations had received a yearly wage 34. The Cowiehan Leader. November 27, 1924, p.6. 35 totalling over #175,000. However the company now f e l t that the market demand for timber was not sufficient to begin a second 35. shift. The Hillcrest Lumber Company, located five miles outside of Duncan, was rapidly completing an entire reconstruction of i t s plant i n March, 1925. This renovation was a move to overcome the situation created by the eight hour day legislation. Modern methods and equipment would increase the plant's cutting capacity to 100,000 feet a day despite the reduction in working hours. The proposed eight hour legislation had caused the V.L. & M. Company to hesitate in rebuilding i t s large plant in Chemainus following i t s loss by f i r e i n November, 1923. T. J. Humbird, president of the company, had felt that this "freak legislation" would lead to the ruination of British Columbia's lumber in-36. dustry. However, a month after the b i l l was passed, the Y.L. & M. announced reconstruction plans which would make the plant the most modern on the continent. In October, 1925, the new plant commenoed operations, supplying employment to more than 500 men, and giving a considerable boost to the Cowiohan area's economic recovery. Throughout the post-war period both Cowichan's federal and provincial government members had made a constant plea for gov-ernment assistance to both farmers and lumbermen i n the form of a protective t a r i f f which would restriot the outflow of raw mat-erials and the inflow of consumer goods. They were particularly 35. The Cowichan Leader. March 19, 1925, p . l . 36. Ibid., November 22, 1923, p . l . 36 interested i n halting the ever increasing shipments of logs from the Cowiohan area to mills in the State of Washington; where they were converted into lumberi and the large importation of farm produce into the province at prices which the British Colum-bia farmers could not hope to match. G. H. Diekie, a native of the Cowiohan Valley, and Conservative Member of Parliament for the Nanaimo riding, had stressed the importance of suoh a t a r i f f measure many times. "Give our manufacturers a chance by provid-ing an adequate t a r i f f and keeping the competition out of Can-ada." In spite of the increasing American competition, the local forest Industry in Cowiehan had completely shaken off the post-war slump by the middle of 1926. A l l companies were operating f u l l time and production was steadily increasing. A continuous stream of logs poured daily along the 3. & N. Railway to Crofton and down the new C.N.R. spur line to Cowiehan Bay. In the month of March, the Cowiohan Bay Booming Association handled eight and a half million feet of logs, while McDonald and Murphy, the larg-38 est shipper to Crofton, sent out seven and a half million feet. In July, 1926, the now rapidly expanding City of Duncan r i d i t s e l f of direct municipal control of both the local waterworks and power systems as the Duncan U t i l i t i e s Ltd., a subsidiary of the international U t i l i t i e s Corp. of New York, was given a twenty year franchise following a municipal referendum on the question. The referendum had received almost unanimous support as 205 of 37. The Cowiohan Leader. March 11, 1926, p . l . 38. Ibid.. A p r i l 8, 1926, p . l . 37 214 voters gave their assent to the move whioh removed what had become two economic "millstones" around the neck of eity coun-39. o i l . The Cowichan Agricultural Society's annual F a l l Fair i n 1926 reflected the growing prosperity of the d i s t r i c t as gate returns increased more than 25% over past years. The most prominent attraction was undoubtedly the f i r s t o f f i c i a l v i s i t to Cowichan of the Hon. Robert Randolph Bruce, Lieutenant-Governor of British Columbia, i»ut many other features, including the increasingly popular loggers* sports helped to make the two-day show a great success. The year also saw a general reawakening i n the local con-struction business as city h a l l issued a t o t a l of forty-four build-ing permits to a gross value of $81,290 as compared with thirty-seven permits and a value of $49,433 in 1925. Construction i n -cluded a new Bank of Montreal, enlargement of the provincial gov-ernment building, seven new stores and eleven private residences. In addition, the B. C. Telephone Company spent $10,000 i n the dis t r i o t during the year as they erected a modern new office building and switchboard complex. By October, 1926, they were servicing over 1,200 homes and businesses i n the d i s t r i c t with telephones. The oompulsory minimum wage of forty cents an hour in the lumber industry, effective November 1, 1926, was looked forward to with serious misgiving by most of the logging operators in the 39. The Cowiohan Leader. July 1, 1926, p . l . 40. Ibid.. September 23, 1926, p . l . 41. Ibid.. October 14, 1926, p . l . 38 valley. The- legislation had been designed i n an effort to help overcome the problem of the ever increasing number of Asiatics who were being employed i n the forest industries. The government f e l t that i f an employer must pay the forty cent minimum, then he would release the low-paid Asiatics and replace them with what were considered to be the superior white labourers. However i n Cowiehan i t soon became apparent that the new law would cause l i t t l e immediate ehange i n the personnel of sta f f s . It simply was not reasonable to replace the more experienced Oriental work-men with completely inexperienced white labour. Local m i l l own-ers had found that white labour, particularly the youthful var-iety, were inexperienced and inclined to "decidedly floating tendencies". In the large Chemainus plant only one white man was affected by the salary increase while ninety-nine percent of the 42 benefit went to the Orientals. This situation quickly aroused the latent hatred of aliens which was so often in evidence in Cowiehan. C. F. Davie, speak-ing before the Legislative Assembly, clearly expressed the fe e l -ings of his constituents as he proposed legislation far more dir-ect than the Minimum Wage Act. He stressed that the province's main industries were gradually being handed over to the Oriental while the white population was being elbowed out of employment and out of the country. He went on to describe the Minimum Wage Act as an absolute failure. The minimum was far too low for white workers and a boon to the Asiatics. The threat was real . The Chinese had increased by 69.4 42. The Cowiehan Leader. January 20, 1927, p . l . 39 percent over the past twenty-four years, while the Japanese pop-ulation had increased during the same period by the frightening 43 total of 323.SI peroent. And why should our children be compelled to s i t beside children of the yellow race, whose traditions are not our traditions; whose conduct and manners are not ours; and whose presence we would not for a moment tolerate as playmates for our children when at home? To this Davie, at least, did not propose to submit. The time for action was now. His proposals were as follows: 1. Restrict employment of Asiatics (not now engaged) to what might be termed menial labour in basic industries of lumbering and mining. 2. Prevent Asiatic raoes from further right to own or lease land. 3. Do not admit any further Orientals into public schools. 4 4 < The strong feelings voiced by Davie gradually diminished however as the boom in the lumber industry continued to develop. The majority of lumbering concerns i n the valley continued to work throughout the winter of 1926/27 with l i t t l e or no loss of time, while the industry as a whole began to enjoy a light but 45 steady upward trend i n prices. Gradually a sense of renewed prosperity was f e l t i n the Cow-ichan area. In 1927, both the Municipality of North Cowichan and the City of Duncan were able to lower their tax assessments, thanks to the increasing returns being experienced from liquor and gasoline sales. Local businesses were also recording record 43. The Cowichan Leader. January 20, 1927, p . l . 44. Loc. c i t . 45. The Cowichan Leader. A p r i l 21, 1927, p . l . 40 sales as the expanding lumber industry not only absorbed a l l the looal labourers, but drew large numbers of newcomers to the dis-t r i c t as well. During the month of July, 1927, the Cowiohan area, and more particularly, the City of Duncan, took on a very festive appear-ance in preparation to celebrate Canada's Golden Jubilee of Con-federation. On July 1 weekend, with flags flying, bands playing, and thousands of feet of brightly coloured bunting waving, the people of Cowiehan joined with a l l of the citizens of Canada and 46 "for once rejoiced together as one people i n one land." Edward W. Beatty, President of the Canadian Pacific Railway, declared that i n 1927, "Canada has hit her stride", and to the people of Cowiehan i t definitely appeared that he was correct. C. H. Dickie, M.P., urged the young men of the area to seize the opportunities that awaited them. He f e l t sure that the next ten years would be Canada's, and he looked forward to the future 47 with great optimism. By 1928 even the farmers of the area were beginning to feel the effects of the ever increasing prosperity. Reporting on their previous year's business, the Cowiehan Creamery revealed an increase i n turnover of $76,635, that sum being a f u l l 23.7 percent greater than that of 1926. A trading balance of |10,744 was to be distributed among the Association's members, making a total of $79,464 distributed in surpluses from 1920 to 1927 in-48 elusive. * These bonuses were i n addition to the six percent 46. The Cowiehan Leader. July 7, 1927, p . l . 47. Ibid., January 5, 1928, p . l . 48. Ibid.. March 1, 1928. p . l . 41 paid annually on invested capital. In retrospect, the decade which followed the Great War was one of slowly increasing prosperity and good times in the Cowi-chan Valley. By the close of the twenties the area was in the midst of the greatest boom which i t had yet experienced. The population, which i n 19E1 had numbered 3,842, increased by 23.5 percent in the Municipality of North Cowichan and by 56.4 per-49 oent i n the City of Duncan, to total 5,134 in 1931. The distinctive thing about the area's population was the unusually large proportion who were of British descent. It was large enough, in fact, to give Duncan and the surrounding country-side a sense of being in a class a l l of their own. A reporter from the bustling metropolis of Vancouver, v i s i t -ing the Cowichan Valley during the late 1920*s, was amazed by the attitude of many of the people he met. They seemed entirely un-moved by the appeal that human existence must be lived at high speed and hectic pressure to get the real values out of i t . To the casual observer " i t was bewitching to contemplate". "Well?", my host queried, his eyebrows t i l t i n g whimsically, "How does Duncan strike you?" Quietly, but with no doubt in my mind about the idea, I said, "It's a l i t t l e bit of England beyond the seas." "My boy," he replied, "you've said i t . That's just what i t i s , a l i t t l e bit of England, and that's exact-l y what we want i t to be. I doubt i f i t could have 49. Seventh Census of Canada. 1931. Vol. II, Local Subdiv-isions, Table Twelve, p. 140. 42 been done anywhere else in the world but right here.* 5 Q > This " L i t t l e England" impression was certainly not an unus-ual response among visitors to the valley. For i n Cowiehan the oultured English accent was the rule rather than the exception. In the Municipality of North Cowiehan 75.2 percent of the popu-lation were either British themselves or of British descent; 51. while i n Duncan 79.1 percent were of similar ancestry. The valley contained more retired colonels, majors, and captains than might have been found i n another area ten times i t s size. These exiles, who found Victoria too metropolitan, had be-come "gentlemen farmers" i n "Canada's L i t t l e Bit of England i n 52. the Far West." Clinging to their sense of caste, these gentry, who were of independent means but not r i c h enough to return to England " i n the style their positions demanded", set up their own Old Country rural society i n the valley. Many of them took up the pursuit of one of the several types of mixed farming for which the area was well-suited. Silver-fox ranching, the growing of selected seeds for the English market, dairying, the growing of small f r u i t s , or the management of poultry or dairy farms were a l l considered to be occupations which came within the sphere of the gentleman's calling. By the end of the twenties, neat hedged meadows, vegetable 50. Vancouver Province, Sunday Magazine, September 14, 1930, p.2. 51. Seventh Census of Canada, 1931, Vol. II, p.104. 52. French, Norman, "A l i t t l e Bit of England i n the Far West", Toronto Star, undated clipping, British Columbia Provincial Archives. 43 gardens, and small herds of cattle, chicken runs, tennis courts, and formal v i l l a s a l l helped to remove the last traces of the rugged countryside which the pioneer settler had known, and to convert i t into the softer scenes of rural England. With the continued a r r i v a l of these transplanted patriots and servants of the British Isles, who lived off their pensions and the returns from their farms, business i n Cowichan prospered, new institutions, flourished and social gatherings increased* The climate, landscape and blood sports of the valley offered them a l i f e that they could not afford elsewhere* The aristo-cratic English accents were passed on to Canadian children and grandchildren, while the military tradition took men back to the regular army in England. The average , ,long-stocking , , family lived at the end of a long, winding, muddy lane i n the Duncan, Cobble H i l l , Quamichan Lake or Maple Bay d i s t r i c t s . The rambling v i l l a was generally situated picturesquely among clumps of oak trees, gorse bushes and bluebells. The many chimneyed structures were a study of divided nostalgia. On three sides they were fussy with gables, leaded window-panes and turrets of the typioal English home. But on the sunny side most had the sort of long verandahs found i n the outposts of what their owners s t i l l called "The Empah". These naval and* military men, pensioned Indian c i v i l ser-vants, and British remittance men were gentlemen a l l , sportsmen —to^the core, maintaining c i v i l i z a t i o n in the wilderness and, as the Englishman does everywhere, organizing society, entering pub-l i c servioe, and labouring i n charitable enterprises with a stern 44 sense of obligation. It i s small wonder then that visito r s l e f t the Cowichan Valley, with i t s gentle rural atmosphere, and i t s small, friendly, "English" city, with the impression that the area was i n a class a l l i t s own. It had a charm and a lure which grew out of i t s e l f , and one, moreover, which did not readily ad-mit of imitation. But what many of the area's casual v i s i t o r s failed to recog-nize was the dual personality of the region. For i f Cowichan was in one aspect the epitome of the English country village, i t was also the heart of British Columbia's logging and lumbering indus-try. As a result the personalities i n Duncan were surprisingly varied for such a small town. There were those who passed their time at hunting, fishing, cricket, tennis, and social gatherings, or by reminiscing about the frontier days i n Northern India or Egypt; while an entirely different group were equally as proud of their prowess with an axe or saw, and told of fe l l i n g the t a l l timber which blanketed Cowichan's hinterland. It i s true that the English were responsible for a great many changes i n Cowichan's social and economic l i f e , as they est-ablished their private schools, their specialized farms, and their country, cricket and yachting clubs, but their distinctiveness should not be permitted to completely overshadow the other social groups i n the valley. By the end of the twenties, Duncan was a multi-industry community. It was a city which, though containing important agricultural and forestry operations, had developed a widely diversified economic base through the growth of other i n -dustrial and serviee functions. The development of the city had 45 progressed to the point where i t was d i f f i c u l t to pinpoint char-acteristics which could he said to be exclusively the result of either the forest industry or agriculture, Descendents of the original pioneer stock had, by this time, either become the valley's most successful farmers, or were firm-l y established as Duncan's leading businessmen. S t i l l others had joined with the new and younger group of immigrants, many of European and Scandinavian background, who were drawn to the area during the twenties by the rapidly developing lumber industry. In many cases, the workers, whether they were employed as loggers or in conversion plants, commuted to work from homes i n middle class residential d i s t r i c t s , and in the contribution they made to the economy and li f e - s t y l e of the region were v i r t u a l l y indist-inguishable from the farmers, the businessmen, and the other tradesmen. It i s unfortunate that no breakdown of Cowiehan's population by principal origins i s available for the 1921 census. However, i t may safely be assumed that most of the 370 people of European descent i n the two municipalities in 1931, had arrived during the previous decade. Of this number, by far the largest nation-a l l y represented groups were the Scandinavians and the French, 53. numbering 112 and 89 respectively. These young men and women, and many more like them who were scattered throughout the unor-ganized portions of the valley, had, in large part, been drawn to British Columbia from their parents' farms in the Canadian Prair-ies. For, on the prairies, the extension of large-scale farming and the introduction of tractors and combine reapers had drastic-53. Seventh Census of Canada, 1931, Vol. II, p. 104. 46 a l l y cut the customary demand for harvest labour. For the most part, these people were young, with their futures before them. They added an air of mixed responsibility and roisterishness to the Cowichan area, and while their effect upon the l i f e - s t y l e of the community may not have been as readily evident as was that of the British, they most certainly were not without their i n -fluence. One very important change that took place during the twent-ies decade was the gradual replacement of agriculture by lumber-ing as the community's primary industry. There were a great many people i n the valley who were reluctant to admit i t , but by 1929, the forest industry was far and away Cowichan's greatest producer of wealth. In the d i s t r i c t were several of the largest lumber m i l l and logging concerns i n the province; and, i n addit-ion, there were dozens of smaller operations - the whole constit-uting an industry which dispersed millions of dollars annually in wages, materials and supplies. The developing forest industry had a definite impact on settlement patterns i n the valley. Camps were set up i n remote areas around Cowichan Lake. These unincorporated settlements of temporary or portable buildings, owned entirely by the operator, and inhabited principally or exclusively by male employees, were characterized by a complete absence of owner operators, non-company personnel and local government. These characteristics were also common to company towns like that established by the Industrial Timber Mills at Youbou. Towns of this type were based on large sawmills drawing upon timber 47 whose locational peculiarities made i t impractical to transport logs to established conversion sites or urban areas. At the Youbou site, situated in the centre of Vancouver Island on Cowi-chan Lake, the dependence upon r a i l transportation to get wood from tree to market made i t practical to reduce product-bulk by sawmilling at or near the cutting site before shipping. However, i t i s significant that in the Cowichan area even small towns like Youbou possessed road links to the "outside world" and, i n particular, to other nearby communities. A l l but the most isolated camps had road connections via the Cowichan Valley to the village of Lake Cowichan and south to the City of Duncan. In a l l of these cases a considerable number of workers had chosen to li v e outside of the company town or camp, and to commute each day to work by car or "crummy". This constant touch with the "outside" was to be of significant importance i n later years, when labour agitators attempted to halt production in the Cowichan Lake area. The village of Chemainus, located i n the north-east end of the Municipality of North Cowiohan, was not a company town, a l -though most of i t s inhabitants were employed i n the m i l l of the Victoria Lumber and Manufacturing Company, which was located there. The m i l l , as has already been noted, was the largest and most complete on the coast, e l e c t r i c a l l y operated, and when runn-54 ing to capacity turned out 300,000 feet of lumber daily. " Two logging camps were operated by the company in the Cowichan Lake area, employing about 190 men. The logs were brought out of the 54. Creighton, J. B., "Survey of Cowichan Activities", British  Columbia Lumberman, Vol. 13. July, 1929, pp.24-26. 48 woods on the company's own railroad and then by the E. & H. Rail-way to the m i l l . Chemainus was also the principal shipping port for finished lumber from the Cowiehan area, throughout the 1920's and early 1930's. Of the other large mills i n the area, that nearest to Duncan was the plant of the Hillcrest Lumber Company Ltd. It had by 1929 been operating in the d i s t r i c t for many years, a l l the while steadily increasing i t s size and i t s equipment. In 1928, i t was the third in production for the Island. This large output, tot-a l l y 45,000,000 feet, was secured through steady operation of the plant throughout the year. Two hundred and twenty-five men were employed i n the m i l l , while an additional one hundred men worked in the woods, where two high lead sides kept the m i l l supplied with logs. A l i t t l e further to the west of Duncan, i n the Sahtlam area, was the Mayo Lumber Company Ltd. This plant was owned and oper-ated by a group of enterprising East Indians. For the most part Orientals, who made up fifteen percent of the total population in Cowiehan in 1931, were employed in the woods and m i l l operations. Shipments for the Mayo Company totalled 39,000,000 feet in 1928. Principal markets for both the Hillcre s t and Mayo mills were found in the Prairie Provinces, Eastern Canada, and the United States. The Shawnigan Lake Lumber Company Ltd., located in the southern part of the valley, had a good producing m i l l which in 1928 manufactured 20,000,000 feet, despite three months of shut-down. Their monthly output averaged 2,200,000 feet with a single s h i f t . Some 115 men were employed for milling and another 75 i n 49 the bush. The Canadian Puget Sound Lumber Company, which had a large m i l l at Victoria, drew their logs from eamps in the Cowiehan Lake d i s t r i c t ?/here they employed 275 men. Other operations in the valley included: H. R. MacMillan Export Company Ltd., em-ploying 80 men; the P. M. Singer Lumber Company, which operated fifteen t i e mills i n the area; the Kimsol Lumber Company, employ-ing 25 men in the-mill and bush; the Malson Lumber Company, em-ploying 20 men; Evans Brothers at Somenos, employing about 30 men; the Eureka Lumber Company, employing 40 men i n the bush and m i l l ; the M.B.Y. Lumber Company, employing 40 men; and the G.E. Wellburn Lumber Company which employed 15 men. The McDonald-Murphy Lumber Company was engaged in a large logging operation at Cowiehan Lake where they employed 200 men at their very modern camp. Operating two sides, they had a monthly output of approx-imately 6,000,000 feet of logs. Several other small concerns were operating i n the valley, but by far the most outstanding development of 1929, was the con-struction of a new m i l l by the Industrial Timber Mills Ltd., at Youbou. Their new plant was designed to compete with the most modern in Canada. El e c t r i c a l l y operated, i t could cut logs which, because of their size, had previously been shipped out of the area. With this new m i l l i n operation the biggest proportion of logs cut i n the Cowiehan Lake area could be manufactured right i n the valley at either Youbou or Chemainus. 50 A general feeling of well-being was in the air i n Cowiohan in 1929. Everyone was confident of an assured and prosperous future. Progress had never been more apparent as returns for logging and lumbering showed a large increase in the cut. The port of Chemainus had handled 59,995,000 feet of finished lumber and expected to rank seventh in tonnage i n Bri t i s h Columbia; while the Cowichan Bay Booming Association had handled over 125,000,000 feet of logs during the season, thereby establishing 55 an all-time record. * The goal of the British Columbia lumber industry had been largely achieved in the winning of her struggle for a cargo trade independent of American control. Lumbermen could point to a reasonably healthy home market, which consumed 210,000,000 feet of local lumber; Eastern Canada and the Prairies used another 830,000,000 feet; 580,000,000 were shipped by water to California and the Eastern Seaboard; and another 400,000,000 feet were distributed between the United Kingdom, Australia, and other overseas markets. 5 6 . The p o l i t i c a l atmosphere in Cowichan had been cleared the year before with the return of the incumbent, C. F. Davie, to the provincial legislature where he had been appointed Speaker of the House for the new Conservative government. Davie had taken 57 2,360 votes out of a total of 4,057 cast. His nearest oppon-ent, Sam Guthrie, the Labour candidate from Ladysmith, had t a l l i e d 55. The Cowichan Leader. January 9, 1930, p . l . 56. Lawrence, J. C , "Markets and Capital: a History of the Lumber Industry of British Columbia (1778-1952)", M.A. thesis, U.B.C., 1957, p.135. 57. British Columbia Statement of Votes, General Elections  1928 to 1956. Queen's Printer, Victoria, 1956, p.17. 51 1,607 votes. Now that the Conservatives were i n power, the people of Cowiehan looked to Davie to f u l f i l l his pledge to re-store the d i s t r i c t to i t s identity as a separate constituency. The merchants of the City of Duncan had never experienced a more profitable year than 1929. Building permits in the area . 58. reached a record value of $92,650, and net sales at the local 59 liquor store totalled $180,678.30, the highest ever recorded. Indeed, the whole of British Columbia was breaking a l l previous records for economic endeavour. The enployment index had risen to 111.5; record heights were being achieved not only i n lumber-ing, but also i n the value of manufactured, agricultural, and fin f i s h products. * The whole province was experiencing i t s great-est boom. Then, late i n 1929, the completely unexpected took place. The stock market collapsed, and in 30 doing served as a trumpet blast heralding a decade of such misery for vast numbers of people that by comparison a l l previous depressions were rendered insig-nificant. 58. Cowiehan Leader, January 9, 1930, p . l . 59. Ninth Annual Report of the British Columbia Liquor Control  Board. King's Printer. Victoria. 1950. -p.49. 60. Ormsby, British Columbia: a History, p.438. 52 Chapter II. HOPS: A DREAM OUT OF TIME. The people of Cowichan were certainly not alone i n f a i l i n g to anticipate the depression which brought the prosperity of the 1920*s to an end. With a l l of Canada, they were caught complete-l y unaware. The "Winter Years" hit them quickly and severely, as the boom of 1929 suddenly upended to become the bust of 1930. Within a few months the prosperous lumber industry suffered sharp reverses as a severe business depression set in in Canada and the United States and, indeed, throughout the world. The building trade, which had been absorbing millions of feet of lumber each year, was suddenly paralysed, and as a sequel to i t s collapse, the lumber industry became completely disorganized. The consump-tion of lumber on the American continent tumbled to the lowest point since 1869. Within two years the production of lumber was to decrease by 75 percent. By 1932, which was to be the cruell-est year of the depression in the Cowichan Valley, lumber pro-duction would have fallen to the lowest point since 1859.1* An additional blow to the industry oame i n the decision of the twenty leading timber importers of the United Kingdom to combine for the f i r s t time to purchase the entire exportable tim-2. ber supply of the Soviet Union for 1929. This agreement, which involved payment to Russia of $50,000,000 and was one of the 1. B. C. Lumberman. Vol. 18, October, 1934, p.15. 2. Lawrence, J. C., "Markets and Capital: a History of the Lumber Industry of British Columbia (1778-1952)", M.A. Thesis, U.B.C., 1957, p.136. 53 largest transactions made with the Soviet Union since the revol-ution of 1917, posed a serious threat to British Columbia's lum-ber trade with Great Britain. Throughout Australia, New Zealand, and South East Asia the depression prevailed, and orders from these regions dwindled to a fraction of their former volume. In addition, the Canadian Prairies was suffering from a serious curtailment of wheat sales which rendered their purohases of lumber almost negligible. By December, 1929, the booming grounds at Crofton and Cowi-ehan Bay were crowded with an accumulation of logs for which there was l i t t l e satisfactory demand. The operators, who had closed their camps for the annual Christmas-New Year's break, were reluctant to terminate the holiday;.:, because of the lack of orders, although i t was the opinion among the majority of Island lumbermen that the turn of the year would witness a general im-provement i n the tone of the market. The men eventually returned to work late in January, but conditions were certainly not improving. Neither were they l i k e l y to get any better i f the Federal Government carried through i t s proposed t a r i f f increases. This f i r s t move on the part of the Canadian government to fend off the depression aroused a good deal of indignation among Cowiehan*s farmers and lumbermen. It i s f o l l y to put one's trust in t a r i f f s . "Cut the costs before you raise the bars" should be the slogan of a l l Canadians who hope to thrive by export markets. 3. Neither were the local businessmen pleased when they heard rumours .13. The Cowiohan Leader, March 20, 1930, p.4. 54 of proposed American t a r i f f increases which would certainly have adverse effects on a l l Canadian business, particularly the lumber trade. The edit* of the Leader warned: What Washington does i s of especial importance to this d i s t r i c t , for i t is proposed to tax lumber $1.50 a thousand and ... i t i s probably safe to say that half of Cowiehan's lumber produce goes to the U.S.A. Since early last summer the sledding has been increas-ingly d i f f i c u l t in the lumber industry and, should this U.S. t a r i f f become effective, our operators w i l l receive a s t i f f j o l t . And their fortunes are to some extent the fortunes of a great many people here.. f t . The proposed American t a r i f f did become effective.however, and the result was a further deepening of the depression in the lum-ber industry. During the second week in May, 1930, the Hillcrest Lumber Company, which had been one of the heaviest producers on Vancou-ver Island in 1929, was forced to close down i t s operations. The equipment was brought in from the woods and the crews were dis-banded. About 325 men were thrown out of work in this i n i t i a l closure. Most of Hillcrest's exports had been to the United States and Eastern Canada, but these markets were f a i l i n g rapidly and there were no new ones to be found. As one lumberman ex-plained: "What business is offering i s below the cost of product-ion, so that i t i s d i f f i c u l t to carry on and keep out of the sheriff's hands." 5 # A l l of the other important mills in the Cowiohan d i s t r i c t were continuing to operate for the present. These included the Victoria Lumber and Manufacturing Co., at Chemainus; the Mayo 4. The Cowiehan Leader, March 27, 1930, p.4. 5« B. C. Lumberman. Vol. 14, January, 1930, p.26. 55 Lumber Co. at Sahtlam; the Industrial Sawmills, at Youbou; and the Evans Bros, m i l l near Duncan. However, in many cases the op-erators were simply reluctant to close down owing to the great amount of capital which must be l e f t idle, and the burden of over-head costs. They carried on i n the hope that conditions would soon show some improvement. In aetual fact, the depression had hardly begun for the peo-ple of Cowichan, yet the area already had i t s "apostles of blue-ruin" spreading their message of woe. "According to one wag, they have everything closing up except the post office and the 6 liquor vendor's store." In an effort to combat this sort of pessimistic approach, Hugh Savage, editor of the Cowiohan Leader, began an active cam-paign, encouraging both the unemployed and those with jobs to work together to overcome the d i f f i c u l t situation they were facing. There i s a great deal in attitude of mind. If every-body i s wearing a long face, everybody i s i n for trouble. Let us recognize that i f a l l the mills and camps i n Cowichan close down we s t i l l have resources and business and that both are capable of improvement. Savage then went on to suggest ways in which unemployment might be staved off and combatted. Heads of families must look for work in new fields of endeavour and be willing to accept jobs which i n more prosperous times they might not even consider. For those who owned land, i t was s t i l l early enough i n the year to put in a crop of potatoes and other vegetables as insurance for the coming winter. And for those who would like to get some 6. The Cowiohan Leader. May 15, 1930, p.4. 7. Loc. Qlt. 56 slashing or clearing done, there was no better time than the pres-ent. "How can I create work" should be the thought uppermost in the minds of a l l residents. Service clubs and businessmen's organizations also became active in the campaign to promote employment and relieve the in-creasing economic strain. Comrade J. D. Groves of the local branch of the Canadian Legion wished to see the veterans take the i n i t i a t i v e in freely discussing the question of unemployment. For, in his words, the situation was reaching a serious stage. The whole country was getting "choc-o-block" with foreigners who had not served under the Canadian flag. He was firmly of the op-inion that o f f i c i a l s should be appointed by the government with the sole duty of moving back to their own countries a l l aliens who could legally be deported. At Grove's suggestion, a resolut-ion was passed to the effect that the government should deport a l l idle aliens.^* Other members of the Legion had suggestions which were a l i t t l e more constructive than that of Comrade Groves. R. Nugent was of the opinion that the easiest and simplest way out of the d i f f i c u l t y would be i n a reduction of the land tax, as this would i n a l l likelihood f a c i l i t a t e a back-to-the-land movement. To give further appeal to such a movement, he suggested that a t a r i f f should be imposed on a l l foreign farm produce. * Following a similar line of reasoning, the Cowichan Board of Trade began to give enthusiastic leadership to a "Home Products" 8. The Cowichan Leader. July 10, 1930, p . l . 9. Loc oit. 57 campaign. A. H. Peterson, originator of the campaign, f e l t that far too much produce was being imported into the Gowichan area. It was estimated that more.than 50$ of the produce being con-sumed in the d i s t r i c t was being imported by local retailers. In some cases, i t was disclosed, Cowichan's own produce was being sold back to local merchants at prices considerably higher than they would have paid had they purchased i t directly from local farmers. Peterson, voicing the opinion of many of the farmers and British settlers in the valley, f e l t sure that i f the dist-r i c t had kept up i t s agricultural development, the depression would not have been f e l t to anything like i t s present degree. Instead, the people of the area had been content to ride on the crest of the lumber wave. As a result, i n addition to the 500 acres of unsettled Soldier Settlement Board lands which were not producing, there were from 2,500 to 3,000 acres of private farm lands lying fallow i n the valley. This disinterest on the part of the white community had allowed the Chinese and Japanese to gain control of the produce market. To further their "Home Products" campaign, the Board of Trade was constructing a farmer's market on the local f a i r grounds. These stalls and booths would be available to the pub-l i c for sale of a l l types of Cowiehan produce. The following stipulation was msfe clear, however: We do not expect farmers to s e l l at r e t a i l prices, but as near to wholesale as possible. We feel that they w i l l be.able to obtain a f a i r profit and w i l l be able to s e l l i t h e i r produce. 10. The Cowiehan Leader, September 25, 1930, p . l . 58 C. F. Davie, the local M.L.A., extended congratulations on the progress of the "Home Products" campaign, but expressed the opinion that i t was being started from the wrong end. He quest-ioned i f the movement had the ©©operation of local merchants. He further emphasized that, in large part, the purchasing public were to blame for the situation in which the local farmers found themselves because they failed to purchase from local merchants, and through them, from the local farmers. He urged that the strong cooperation of the people of Duncan and the surrounding d i s t r i c t would be needed so as to get the purchasing power behind the campaign. 1 1 . Meanwhile, conditions i n the local forest industry were not improving. By August, several of the logging camps i n the Cowi-chan Lake District had shut down owing to slack business and dry weather. A number of small tie-mills in the d i s t r i c t had also been closed, thereby increasing the unemployment problem. Among the larger mills, only the Industrial Timber Mills at Youbou was 12 continuing operations. The Cowichan Bay Booming Association reported that during the twelve month period ending June 30, 1930, they had shipped out 104,000,000 feet of logs, as compared with 140,000,000 feet 13 during a similar period for the previous year. * But this re-cord was considered to be satisfactory i n view of the prevailing depression. 11. The Cowiohan Leader. September 25, 1930, p . l . 12. B. C. lumberman, Vol. 14, August, 1930, p.24. 13. Ibid.,'Vol. 14, September, 1930, p.20. 59 It i s not surprising that the steadily worsening economic condition and the ever decreasing amount of available employment began to give rise to feelings of r a c i a l discrimination. In par-ticular, there was a renewal of that intense dislike of Orientals which was so often revealed in the Cowiehan area. The following letter to the editor gives a typical example: Sir : I am very much surprised to know, and i t i s to be regretted, that a number of farmers in the Cowiehan Dist-r i c t are going to hire Chinese to help harvest their pot-ato crops, while there are lots of white men available who would be only too glad to get the work and who should be given preference. One of the Many Unemployed.^, It was not un t i l the autumn of 1930 that the local municipal governments began to take some action to help these "many unem-ployed". Their reluctance to do so earlier resulted from the traditional Canadian view that r e l i e f was a burden which provinc-i a l governments must bear either directly or by imposing i t on the shoulders of the municipalities, and i t was quite evident that no financial provision had been made by the Brit i s h Columbia gov-ernment for any such contingency. The effect in 1930 was for the municipalities to hold back for fear of incurring heavy expend-itures at a time when their revenues, based mainly on the taxation of real property, were already d i f f i c u l t to maintain. However, with the approach of winter, with the numbers of unemployed i n -creasing daily, i t was reluctantly admitted that something must be done. On October 3, 1930, a special committee was appointed by the Municipality of North Cowiehan council to bring forward a l i s t of 14. The Cowiohan Leader. October 2, 1930, p.4. 60 work that could he undertaken by the municipality. The Committee was also asked to try and arrive at an approximate idea of the 15 number of unemployed there might be expected. It was determined by this committee that emergency road work would be the most beneficial type of work to allot for r e l i e f . After this suggestion had been thoroughly discussed and adopted, a resolution was addressed to the Provincial Government, advising them that the t o t a l estimated cost of r e l i e f works for the muni-cip a l i t y would be $7,500. It was later arranged that this cost would be shared by the three levels of government, with 25% com-ing from each of the senior bodies and 50% from the local muni-cip a l i t y . The regulations under which the local municipalities allotted r e l i e f were set out as follows: Employment would only be given in urgent oases. Order of application would be followed, but only to suit particular work in hand and distance of applicant from the work. Married men would be given pri o r i t y . If three days work in one week had been allotted and performed, or i f the applicant was unable to start work when offered i t , further application would be necessary to replace a name on the l i s t . 1 6 * By the f i r s t week of November, 1930, special works had been commenced by the City of Duncan, the Municipality of North Cowichan, and the provincial government i n the unorganized portions of the valley. The number of men applying was so large, however, that on November 13, Mayor H. P. Prevost, of Duncan, made the following 15. "Minutes of the Municipality of North Cowichan", M.S. Municipal Hall, City of Duncan, October 13, 1930. 16. The Cowichan Leader. November 6, 1930, p . l . 61 statement i n the Leader: There has been so much talk and so much published i n regard to various schemes for providing work for the unemployed that there i s a general impression that a l l any man has to do, when he i s out of work, i s to apply to the municipality i n which he resides and work w i l l be found for him. It i s , of course, obvious that no municipality can undertake such a task as this. The best that can be done is to assist to a limited extent by providing work where families are i n actual want and almost destitute. The amount of money placed at the disposal of the City of Duncan i s very small and i s intended solely for re-l i e f work. Some have applied for r e l i e f work who have been working steadily a l l summer. Also many young, single men have registered. A l l of these are apparently under the im-pression that there i s a large sum of money to be spent for the unemployed and that "they may just as well get their share of i t . " The object of these remarks i s to make i t clear that the City of Duncan cannot possibly find employment for a l l those out of work; that the funds at their disposal are decidedly limited; that we have the winter s t i l l be-fore us and that those with wives and children, who are in actual want and distress, must of necessity be given f i r s t consideration.^ Meanwhile, in an effort to relieve the strain which was being placed upon the c i t i e s i n British Columbia by the large numbers of unemployed loggers who were seeking r e l i e f , a plan was advanced by the logging operators suggesting that 7,000 loggers could be housed and fed throughout the winter i n the logging camps until such time as the industry, which normally employed about 11,000, could put them to work again. Single men out of work as a result of reduced logging operations could be returned to their camps to be given shelter and food there. Reduced fares to effect this purpose might be granted by the steamship companies, and funds 17. The Cowiehan Leader, November 13, 1930, p . l . 62 needed for food could be advanced by the government, to be re-bated later by the men when their jobs were open to them again. Married men could continue to be handled i n the municipal r e l i e f scheme. This proposal was endorsed by the City of Vancouver au-thorities, with Mayor W. H. Malkin arguing that the government should assist i n this attempt to "keep the men in the woods and 18 out of the bread lines." * However, i t would appear that the plan was never endorsed by the Provincial Government, and local municipalities were l e f t to fare as well as they could. While the unemployment situation was becoming increasingly serious, i t was s t i l l not as bad as i t might have been. Most of the larger camps and mills on Vancouver Island continued to op-erate throughout 1930, although the aggregate production was down 19 to about 25% of normal. * The demand for logs was sueh that fur-ther output was not essential, but camp operators would just as soon not have their plants id l e . In some cases local operators were actuated primarily by the desire to keep as many men as poss-ible employed. Considering the proportions of the industry and the prevailing market conditions, the number of men out of work was regarded as small. To ensure that the funds allotted by the provincial govern-ment for r e l i e f purposes would be sufficient, Cowichan's local municipalities maintained a rigid control over expenditures. Fur-ther regulations were added to those already laid out for r e l i e f applicants, so that only those.in the most depraved condition would be considered. A l l persons seeking r e l i e f were now required 18. B. C. Lumberman. Vol. 14, December, 1930, p.20. 19. Loc. c i t . 63 to make a declaration stating what other funds, i f any, were available to them. It was further charged that a l l cheques issued on r e l i e f work be stamped " r e l i e f " . This move would un-doubtedly discourage many of the local unemployed from submitt-ing to the humiliation of what they regarded as the "dole". For, i n small, rural communities like Cowiehan, the acceptance of aid was accompanied by a social stigma. With the arrival of the new year the people of Cowiehan were able to look back over the f i r s t twelve months of the depression and to count the cost. The rapid development of 1929 had been seriously curtailed. In contrast to the record construction per-iod of that year, only $33,650 worth of building had been done in 20 1930. * This was the lowest figure since 1922. Liquor sales, which in 1929 stood at $180,678.80, had dropped by $54,000 to 21 $126,789.70. A l l of the business concerns in the city had registered decided losses over the previous year. Not the least of those organizations to be seriously affected was the local hospital. Early in 1931, the hospital's financial condition became c r i t i c a l . Because of the extended closure i n the lumber indus-try, and the continuing rise i n unemployment, The King's Daughters' Hospital was going broke for lack of patronage. In February, i t was announced that unless $5,000 was found immediately, the hos-p i t a l would have no alternative but to close. The forest closure 20. The Cowiehan Leader, January 1, 1931, p . l . 21. Tenth Annual Report of the British Columbia Liquor Control Board, King's Printer, Victoria, 1931, p.M67. 64 had brought a loss of $1,000 a month during the last five months of 1930, and already i n January of 1931, i t had experienced a loss of $1,500. Dr. A. S. Lamb, Provincial Hospital Inspector, announced that i t would be necessary to shut down a portion of the hospital in order to reduce overhead. There was definitely no use looking to the government for any financial help beyond the seventy cents per patient per day that was currently being paid. The depressed conditions of 1930 were also responsible for bringing various inter-municipal differences to a head. One which was to crop up with almost monotonous regularity during the t h i r t -ies concerned the matter of school costs. In 1919, the City of Duncan and the Municipality of North Cowichan ratepayers had voted approval of consolidation of their respective school d i s t r i c t s . In 1922, the northern end of the Municipality of North Cowichan (the Chemainus region) had desired separation and the Consolidated School Dis t r i c t had been redefined. At this revision of the Consolidated School Di s t r i c t , Duncan had insisted that the payment for transportation was none of their business and the North Cowichan representatives had agreed to ass-ume the whole burden of transportation costs. The consequences of this move were shown when the school acc-ounts for 1930 were examined: City of Duncan (274 pupils) cost $10,260 or $37.50 each. 22 North Cowichan (259 pupils) cost $13,027 or $50.30 each. A report tabled by Reeve Tisdall stated that while consoli-22. "Minutes of the Municipality of North Cowichan", A p r i l 9, 1931. 65 dation might be of equal benefit educationally to the children, the economic benefits f e l l entirely to Duncan. It i s a fact that removal of the North Cowiehan pupils from Duncan to say Chemainua would stop a flow of $55.00 each day i n the year from North Cowiehan into Duncan.23. The North Cowiehan council therefore appealed to the City fathers to consent to bear their equal proportion of a l l Consolidated School expenses, but the latter group were content with the arr-angement as i t stood and let the matter drop. While conditions i n the Cowiehan Valley were serious enough in the early part of 1931, the local o f f i c i a l s were not faced with the unemployment problems of areas like Revelstoke, Kamloops, or Vernon, where the railway lines deposited fresh groups of hungry men with each train. However, some of these transients did find their way into the valley, as may be witnessed i n the following a r t i c l e . Like many others through this intense industrial depress-ion, I am on the hobo, and have perchance drifted into the l i t t l e town of Duncan, and am much struck by the at-mosphere of the charming environs, resembling an old world garden village. My abode has been i n the local caravan-seria, near the sand pit, or more rudely and commonly known as "the jungles" - a graceful compliment to Darwin indeedl Our l i f e isn't what one would c a l l a bed of roses and the sweaty aura of our midst not quite the fragrance of sweet smelling myrtle, but we are indeed an interesting l i t t l e crowd and our emotions and idiosyncracies would certainly intrigue the more placid dweller of main street. ... Thus we make the best of our l i f e today in this chaotic condit-ion of industry; "Micawbre-like", waiting for things to turn up ... Box Car, No. 372907y Duncan Freight Yard.34. 23. "Minutes of the Municipality of North Cowiehan", A p r i l 9, 1931. 24. The Cowiehan Leader, January 25, 1931, p.4. 66 It was in. an effort to combat the ever growing number of transients who were flocking into British Columbia, that the Prov-i n c i a l Government came up with a new unemployment r e l i e f scheme i n July, 1931. According to the new plan, whether or not a man got r e l i e f depended not upon local municipal o f f i c i a l s , but upon the authorities i n Victoria. Previously the care of transients had fa l l e n upon the municipality in which they happened to be. But now the government had assumed responsibility for them. They were to be moved out of the c i t i e s and placed in what were comm-only known as "great concentration camps", to work on highway pro-jects. There they would be given food and shelter and a "subsis-tence allowance". This was not meant to be a wage, and would be nothing like the previous year's rate of four dollars a day. Cit-izens of the Cowichan area were warned that these camps would not necessarily be for transients only. Every applicant for regis-tration must undertake "to go to any provincial government unem-ployment r e l i e f camp", i f and when required. To be entitled to r e l i e f under the new scheme a person must be " i n need of the necessities of l i f e , or destitute and without means of subsistence, not actively employed or in receipt of any permanent charitable allowance of any source." There had been a slight resumption of employment in the local lumber industry late i n the spring of 1931, but with only the Chemainus and the Youbou mills working steadily, and with the gov-ernment supported r e l i e f schemes having come to a close at the end of March, the situation remained serious. Private citizens, while they may have been unsure of the causes behind the depression, 67 f e l t a definite sense of responsibility toward the unemployed in the area. The following poem illustrates this feeling: I think the time has come to say To everyone of us today, "Go, and help our fellow man" Let us a l l do what we can And try i n one way or another To help our hungry, workless brother. So that by such means as we may, We'll help and cheer him on his way. It's a situation we've got to face. 'Tis a duty we owe the human race. ... Some cam do much, and other*more. Then give as you never gave before, But not with patronizing show. These men have feelings, too, you know. It w i l l come to pass, make no mistake, If they don't receive, they'll simply take, And i f they do, they're not to blame. In a li k e position we'd do the same, For every man, of any nation, Wi l l steal when faced with stark starvation. Some say, "They have themselves to blame." That may be true, but a l l the same There's one thing we're too prone to do -Condemn the lot because of a few. But we're not concerned with why or how They got that way. They're hungry now. That's a l l that matters, and we must give Them money and food that they may l i v e . But for the grace of the Diety we A l l in a similar plight would be. I have no doubt, but our friend R.B. Wil l raise some money, and then w i l l see Them through the winter, but that i s a l l He promises. What of summer, and f a l l ? There are scores of plans to relieve the strain, And many are worrying heart and brain. Division of labour, the shortening of hours, Conscription of wealth by our governing powers; But we want no revolution here, And meanwhile, everyone should give What they can, that their buddies may l i v e . p t -25. The Cowiohan Leader, July 28, 1931. p.4. 68 The local municipal and city councils were also becoming in-creasingly worried about the local unemployment problem. In Aug-ust, 1931, with the prospect of another winter before them, and with even more serious unemployment conditions than those faced in 1930, the North Cowichan council appointed a committee composed of the reeve, one councillor, and the road superintendent to i n -terview the Provincial Unemployment Committee, stressing the fact that the Municipality had no gioney available for r e l i e f , and not 26. much, i f any, work required to be done. The committee explain-ed to the Hon. R. W. Bruhm, Minister of Public Works, that the previous winter the Municipality had given r e l i e f to 159 men at a cost of $10,500. This year'they estimated that at least 200 men would want r e l i e f and that at least $15,000 would beineeded. Bruhm was not able to say what assistance the Provincial Govern-ment would be able to give however, as they were s t i l l waiting to see what action the Federal Government would take. At this point, with the number of unemployed growing daily, and with the future uncertain, an attempt was made by a group of outsiders to organize the\'.unemployed in the Cowichan d i s t r i c t . This movement was sponsored by the National Unemployed Workers Association, a Communist led organization a f f i l i a t e d with the Workers Unity League. J. R. Berry of Victoria and Tom Bradley, the Vancouver organizer for the N.U.W.A., spoke to a small crowd of f i f t y or so unemployed who attended the Association's open-air meeting in August. 26. "Minutes of the Municipality of North Cowichan", August 6, 1931. 69 The purpose of the National Unemployed Workers Association was allegedly to take up any grievances of the unemployed; to care for the people who were out of work; and to advance the standard of wages of the working class. The Association's demands were as follows: 1. That a l l married unemployed should receive four days r e l i e f work a week at union wages, or f a i l -ing this, the cash equivalent. 2. That a l l single persons should receive two days' work a week at union wages or cash equivalent. 3. That there should be no evictions in the event of a person out of work being unable to pay his taxes. 4. The Association takes no notice of race discrimin-ation and that a l l persons, no matter what nation-al i t y are treated on the same basis. 5. Abolition of "government prison camps". 27 6. A non-contributory insurance for persons unemployed. Bradley maintained that the capitalists were trying to un-load the burden or c r i s i s of the depression on the backs of the workers through methods such as wage-cuts, speed-ups, and un-employment camps. "In registering for these camps, you, the un-employed, should be very careful i n taking the proper precautions i n f i l l i n g out the blanks. Do this carefully and don't let the 28 o f f i c i a l s i n charge of this make you act against your mind." He went on to compare the situation in Canada with that in Russia. "The standard of the working classes in Russia i s superior to that of those in the United States and Canada." Contending that unemployed individuals would receive no help by applying to the local municipal authorities, he stressed the 27. The Cowiehan Leader. August 27, 1931, p . l . 28. Loc. c i t . 70 need for a branch of the N.U.W.A. in Duncan. "There needs to be a local branch with a chairman and delegates to make represent-ations to these bodies, and when they see that you are in earnest and also that you belong to an association that i s nation-wide, they w i l l think twice before refusing you aid." A few people i n the area, particularly the younger European and Scandinavian groups in the logging camps, accepted the N.U.W.A. proposals and began to organize a local branch, but for the most part, local opinion was not in favour with the Association's ideas. The editor of the Leader probably voiced the majority opinion when he wrote: If the standard of the working classes in Russia i s better than i t i s here, i t might be well for a l l con-cerned i f those who think so would save up their money or work their own passages to that land of happiness. Those who are unemployed i n this city and d i s t r i c t stand to gain much more from the sympathy and efforts of their own friends and neighbours who make up the community than from the vapourings of representatives of so-called unemployed associations which have app-eared in the larger c i t i e s . Most of us see ... that work and wages have to be sec-ured for a considerable number of men, even in this d i s t r i c t . The government and the municipal bodies are doing their best to devise means to overcome the pro-blem. The duty of every loyal Canadian is to assist them to do it.„„ 29. A further reaction to the N.U.W.A. was forthcoming at a meet-ing of the local branch of the Canadian Legion a few weeks later. The attention of the members was drawn to the clause i n their con-stitution which states: "No avowed anarchist, communist, or other 29. The Cowiohan Leader. August 27, 1931, p.4. 71 person who advocates the destruction of organized government i n Canada by force, shall be permitted to become or remain a member." In this connection, i t was pointed out that at a recent meeting of the National Unemployed Workers Association, Duncan Branch, a circular had been handed out which contained the following, under the signature of the local executive committee: Join the N.U.W.A.; a f f i l i a t e d to the Workers' Unity League (Canadian Section of the Red International or Labour Unions) ... Forward to a programme of militant struggle against capitalism ... Rally to the banner of the revolutionary unions. 3 Q It was then pointed out that at least one member of the Legion was connected with this organization, and the executive was asked to investigate and take the necessary action. From this point on, l i t t l e was heard of the local branch of the N.U.W.A., although the organization did meet with more sym-pathy i n some up-island communities. Areas like Ladysmith and Nanaimo, which had more of a history of labour agitation than did Cowiehan, were particularly receptive to the League's proposals. In the meantime, some progress was being made by the local municipalities i n the matter of setting up r e l i e f work for the coming winter. The Hon. R. W. Bruhm, Minister of Public Works, notified the local o f f i c i a l s that the two senior governments had at last reached an agreement. Federal assistance would be avail-able for certain provincial public works i n the autumn of 1931. Henceforth municipalities -would be expected to provide r e l i e f only for men with dependents when these men and their dependents were bona fide municipal residents who had resided continuously 30. The Cowiehan Leader. September 17, 1931, p . l . 72 i n the municipality from May 1, 1931. The dominion and the prov-i n c i a l governments were to undertake, jointly the r e l i e f or em-ployment of a l l single unemployed men without dependents who were residents i n the municipality, and also of a l l unemployed transi-ents who had entered the municipality before May 1, 1931. Re-l i e f allowance rates were established as follows: two dollars a day for labourers; two-twenty a day for teamsters; two-fifty a day to f a l l e r s , buckers, rock-drillers, and gradermen; and two-seventy-five a day to truck drivers, tractor-drivers, and powder-men. In addition to the above, a subsistence allowance of eighty cents a 31. day was payable directly to the dependent family of each worker. Reeve G. A. Tisdall sent a letter to the Hon. R. W. Bruhm, setting out the position of the Municipality of North Cowichan with regard to this new r e l i e f scheme, objecting to certain features of the method used to allot the r e l i e f . He also pointed out that the government, in taking care of transients and men without depend-ents, while leaving married men and their dependents as a muni-cipal responsibility, was giving far less benefit to rural muni-ci p a l i t i e s than to the larger city municipalities. For, while Vancouver had 2,215 transients, Cowichan only had 8; similarly, while Vancouver had 6,111 men without dependents, Cowichan had only 38. Other arguments contained in the letter were as follows: 2. For this municipality to undertake a 50% labour cost agreement with the government on the basis of the government registration and under the present schedule of subsistence allowance, six days per week would total i n the next six months an expendi-ture of some $27,000 for labour and some $5,000 for materials, etc., of which amounts we should have to pay $18,500. 31 The Cowiohan Leader. September 17, 1931, p . l . 73 4. The present intentions of the government, i f car-r i e d out, w i l l necessitate our ratepayers being taxed i n 1932 for the sum ... ($18,500) i n addit-ion to $16,000 representing the approximate cost of our ordinary road work for the coming year. (N.B. The above figures do not take into consid-eration the increase i n r e g i s t r a t i o n s , which are coming i n some two or three d a i l y . ) I t i s there-fore undeniable that:-a) Any share l a i d upon t h i s municipality could not exceed 20$ with a l i m i t of $3,000. b) This municipality must have the decision as to who i s e l i g i b l e to receive work, as we f e e l we can interpret the applicants' actual needs and circumstances i n a more s a t i s f a c t o r y manner than through the medium of government r e g i s t r a t i o n . c) This municipality must not be t i e d down to giving s i x days work per week. „ By September, 1931, 347 men were registered f o r r e l i e f work i n the Cowiehan area; 121 of them from the unorganized t e r r i t o r y ; 127 from the Municipality of North Cowiehan; and 70 from the City 33 of Duncan. Of these, t h i r t e e n were transients. * I t was imper-ative that new r e l i e f works be developed. On September 21, a s p e c i a l meeting was held by the North Cow-iehan council to deal with the ever-growing unemployment problem. A number of ratepayers and representatives of the Duncan Chamber of Commerce were on hand to o f f e r suggestions as to the most s u i t -able programme of works to be proposed by the municipality. The schemes c h i e f l y taken up were: 1. A general road improvement programme to cost approx-imately $7,500. 2. A sewerage system for Chemainus townsite under the Local Improvement Act, to cost approximately $1,400. 32. "Minutes of the Municipality of North Cowiehan", September 21, 1931. 33. The Cowiohan Leader. September 17, 1931, p . l . 74 3. A Mount Prevost road costing from $4,000 to $25,000 according to the type of road desired. 3 4 After a l l present had given their opinions, the reeve was author-ized to go to Victoria to conclude an agreement for unemployment r e l i e f i n accordance with the letter already sent to the Minister of Public Works. Late in September the Municipality of North Cowichan's new works for r e l i e f plan was approved. It included the general road improvement programme, and the sewerage system for Chemainus townsite. In addition, a new cost sharing system had been worked out for payment of r e l i e f works. Under this plan the municipal-i t i e s were asked to pay one quarter of the labour cost of approved municipal undertakings and a l l material costs. For i t s share of r e l i e f work in 1931, the City of Duncan pro-posed a surface drainage scheme which would cost approximately $1,200. The Dominion Government was to pay 50 percent of the total cost, the Provincial Government 25 percent of the labour cost, and the city was to pay the balance. Public reliance on r e l i e f continued to grow and as i t did so, i t gave rise to new and d i f f i c u l t social problems. One citizen could not help but notice the "extraordinary apathy of the gener-a l public, the electors of this province, and particularly of this d i s t r i c t towards the subject of p o l i t i c s . " He continued: How many can say that they have tried to do their b i t or have done one l i t t l e thing to help the cause of good government? The majority, I fear, can only ad-mit to carping and criticisms and the use of such phrases as "bunch of crooks", "No, not for me", and such and similar self-righteous things. 34. "Minutes of the Municipality of North Cowichan", September 21, 1931. 75 Others, and not a few businessmen and working men who have said the same to me, say, "I just daren't take part, I ' l l lose some business", or, "I might lose my job!" or, "My son (or brother) works on the road and I dare not take part in p o l i t i c s . " One does not blame these three latter: one can but sympathize; for the sum of the whole thing is that under the patronage system theirs i s the common-sense view and unfortunately for good government, only too true ••• 3 5 In the City of Duncan, according to the census figures com-piled on June 1, 1931, of a total of 590 wage earners, twenty years of age and over, 231 or 39.2$ were unemployed. And i t may safely be surmised that the proportion would be even larger in the Municipality of North Cowiehan and the unorganized territory i n the valley which were populated in large part by loggers and their families. For these many unemployed people, r e l i e f , i f they were destitute enough to be receiving i t , was only providing a subsistence livelihood. The fundamental objection to the direct r e l i e f which many were forced to accept even though they would have preferred to work for their money, was that i t bred the very conditions i t was seeking to relieve. It generated poverty and pauperism. In many cases i t denied the worthy and rewarded the unworthy, and in ev-ery case i t failed completely to solve the problems arising from unemployment. Such a scheme gave assistance only to the desti-tute, to those who were reduced to a condition where l i f e or health was threatened by absolute lack of food, clothing or shel-ter. It penalized the thrifty workman by denying him aid until his savings and property were exhausted, while i t gave r e l i e f 35. The Cowiehan Leader. October 15, 1931, p.4. 76 promptly after loss of his job to the man who was careless with his wages while he was at work. Unemployment was reducing drastically and dangerously the living standards of the majority of the working people. Health and v i t a l i t y were being undermined while there were serious in-creases in malnutrition and dental defects among school children. The very present problem of caring for those sick people who were on r e l i e f f e l l upon the nurses of the Duncan Health Centre. Food and shelter might be provided through r e l i e f allowances and comm-unity help, but care i n sickness was a special problem because i t required the services of trained peoples. Doctors were doing a wonderful work, giving their time and services, but they could not carry on alone. The free services of the Health Centre "nur-ses were particularly of value when families, due to financial stress or because of the barrier of an unpaid doctor's b i l l , would not c a l l a physician unless, in their opinion, there was an absolute need for him. One of the most serious conditions noted by the nurses in their v i s i t s to the homes of the unemployed was an increasing nervous instability and breaking down of the moral fibre of the people. One nurse observed: This worry and uncertainty i s gradually undermining their health and unless there i s an improvement in the economic world, serious consequences may result. Any change for the better would be quickly reflected in the general health of the population. 36. Harvey, E. H., "Depression and Community Health", Public Health Nurses Bulletin. Vol. II, No. 1, . May, 1933, King's Printer, Victoria, p.3.. 77 Perhaps the worst consequence of the continuing depression was that unemployment was k i l l i n g freedom. No man or woman i s free who lacks the means of l i v e l i h o o d . He i s not free to say what he thinks, to do the simple things he would l i k e to do, to function independently as a free c i t i z e n , i f he must bend every step towards obtaining a job or i f he must beg f o r charity. Expenditure of public money on roads and streets might ass-i s t i n t i d i n g over some of the unemployed, but i t would not solve the problem of continuous unemployment. Perhaps a more s a t i s f a c t -ory solution to the economic c r i s i s , p a r t i c u l a r l y i n an urban area such as Cowiehan, would be to pursue a "back-to-the-land" movement. Ear surely, suggested the Leader, there was no better means of disposing of the unemployed population. I t would not be an easy task, for i n the past, farm settlement schemes had proved both abortive and exceedingly costly. But former attempts had taken place during prosperous times, times when the comparison between the man on the land was with the man i n the c i t y earning big wages and patronizing the bright l i g h t s . Now the comparison was rather with the c i t y man out of work. I t was noted that: Not long ago t h i s country was spending m i l l i o n s to induce Europeans to come here and s e t t l e on the land. Why not tackle the problem ourselves? With B r i t i s h Columbia importing around $120,000,000 worth of ag-r i c u l t u r a l produce each year, there appears to be room fo r expansion of our farming industry. 37. The Cowiehan Leader, January 21, 1932, p.4. 78 By the end of 1931, there seemed to he l i t t l e cause for re-newed hope i n the future. Lumber markets were becoming increas-i n g l y more scarce and production had f a l l e n to a f r a c t i o n of i t s former volume. There i s l i t t l e wonder then, that a great deal of enthusiasm and i n t e r e s t were shown not only i n Cowichan but throughout the province when, i n November, the H i l l c r e s t Lumber Company commenced operation of a new m i l l , the f i r s t of i t s kind i n Canada. The self-contained plant had been erected to meet the exacting B r i t i s h demands for accurately sawn lumber. Carle-ton Stone, managing direc t o r of the H i l l c r e s t Company, had toured B r i t a i n and the Scandinavian countries during the p r e v i -ous year and was now making an active bid to recapture a portion of the B r i t i s h market which had been l o s t to the Russians i n 19£9. The new m i l l was equiped with a Swedish gang-saw and the lumber was produced i n exactly the same way as the B a l t i c count-r i e s had been doing for the United Kingdom. The aim of the new plant was accurate sawing, the lessening of waste, and s i m p l i c i t y of operation. In a nine hour day the seven man crew was capable of producing 40,000 feet, and the m i l l was b u i l t so that the 58. equipment could be doubled i f market conditions warranted i t . The f i r s t shipment of s p e c i a l l y cut and k i l n - d r i e d Vancouver Island timber l e f t H i l l c r e s t f o r the United Kingdom i n February, 1933. The shipment was a s i g n i f i c a n t portent for the B r i t i s h Columbia lumber industry, but unfortunately the B r i t i s h market was not yet well enough developed to maintain the operation of the new m i l l , and once again Carleton Stone set out for B r i t a i n , 58. B. C. Lumberman. V o l . 16, March, 1932, p.19. 79 Norway and Sweden i n search of new markets and more efficient methods. He was to return in September, however, s t i l l uncert-ain as to when he would resume operations. At the beginning of 1932, the City of Duncan was able to take stock of i t s position after nearly two years of depressed conditions. Financially the city was found to be basically sound. The previous year's taxes had been paid up well, with no less than 89.71$ of the year's levy having been collected by December 31. Taxpayers were directed, however, to the following points. F i r s t , the city had spent practically nothing during the previous year on tarviating of streets, whereas in normal years several thousand dollars would have been expended on this work. Owing to increased r e l i e f costs in 1931, the council had found i t necessary early in 1932 either to retrench or to increase taxes, andAformer dourse had been adopted in an effort to help the residents of the area. Second, in spite of tax collections being so good, there was a serious f a l l i n g off of revenue i n certain other directions as compared with the previous year. 1950 1951 P o l l taxes 765.00 525.00 Trade Licence Fees 4,544.00 5,991.00 Road tax receipts 236.00 114.00 Liquor profits 3,055.57 2,507.05 3 g There was no doubt i n the o f f i c i a l s ' minds but what these items would show a s t i l l further reduction in 1952, trade licence fees especially, on account of several businesses being closed. Warnings had also been received from the Provincial Govern-59. The Cowiehan Leader, January 28, 1932, p . l . 80 ment of an impending reduction in school grants and the intimation that aid in other directions would be seriously reduced. City Council was now faced with the problem of meeting increased expen-ses arising out of the s t i l l growing unemployment r e l i e f costs without increasing taxes. It was therefore deemed advisable to cut out, absolutely, a l l expenditures that were not essential for the upkeep of the town. The North Cowichan Council determined to reduce their rate of taxation in an effort to help the overburdened farmers of the area. They also hoped to reduce the costs of road maintenance as a means of furthering their programme of economy. The exist-ing tax rate was 23.7 mills, and this included a provision of $20,000 for roads. The reeve planned to cut the tax rate by two mills, thereby cutting back assessments to a value of $1,820. These reductions and economies on the part of the local muni-cipal bodies were to be of l i t t l e significance however, for dur-ing the coming year the depression was to hit i t s lowest depths for the Cowichan region. The year 1932 was to be the bleakest the lumber industry had experienced sin&el859, and by far the most serious that Cowichan had ever known. It was also, however, to be the year which produced some of the most interesting responses to the problem of the depression. The arr i v a l of the new year did not bring with i t any signs of the hoped for recovery from unemployment. Instead, labour market conditions continued to deteriorate. By 1932, coastal production of lumber had dropped by approximately 60% from i t s 81 1929 l e v e l , while the price of lumber had declined to less than 40 half the average of the preceding seventeen years. * As a re-s u l t , many operators, both large and small, had been forced to discontinue production, while others could only continue to work on d r a s t i c a l l y reduced time schedules. Perhaps the most severe blow of a l l to the industry came i n the form of the Smoot-Hawley t a r i f f , which e f f e c t i v e l y excluded B r i t i s h Columbia's lumber from the United States. This t a r i f f , designed to protect American industries from competition with foreign sources i n the home market, became law on July 1, 1932. This Congressional action v i r t u a l l y shut out B r i t i s h Columbia lumber from the United States, thereby marking the bottom of the slump i n the industry. Under these circumstances i t became necessary once again to attempt to repeat the performance of building almost from nothing a. new market f o r B r i t i s h Columbia's lumber. This would be no easy task i n a time of world-wide depression, when international trade was declining and i n t e n s i f i e d nationalism was erecting trade b a r r i e r s i n the form of higher import duties, quotas, and other r e s t r i c t i o n s . The p l i g h t of Cowiehan's farmers was no l e s s serious than that of many of the loggers i n the community. Earnings were dropping and taxes were increasing. The average pr i c e for butt-erf at had dropped to 29.45$ i n 1931, from 38.40 i n 1930 and 45.50 i n 1929. An increase of 28,927 pounds of butter i n 1931 over the previous year's t o t a l of 146,368 pounds, did l i t t l e to o f f s e t the 40. Lawrence, J . C , "Markets and Capital", p.136. 82 41 price differential. * The farmers of the area, speaking through the auspices of the Cowichan Creamery Association, f e l t that i t was absolutely necessary to demand a halt in the orgy of public expenditure. They strongly critic i z e d the whole fabric of living in British Columbia as being entirely out of proportion to the production capacity of the province. A resolution was prepared for the provincial government protesting against any further in-crease in taxation, looking to the fact that a l l agricultural commodities had reached very low price levels and that any i n -crease i n taxation, no matter for what purpose, would place the farmer in a position wherein he would be unable to maintain him-self on the land. John Gibb, manager of the Cowichan Creamery Association,asserted that: We have a social structure imposed on our country that i s out of a l l proportion to what we produce. I think i t i s time to c a l l a halt and give the farmers a show and the industrialist not quite so much.^g The year 1931 had been one of decreasing commodity prices in ag-riculture, and the directors of the Creamery Association regretited that there appeared to be no immediate prospect of an increase i n prices. In an effort to help the faltering farmers, a special conven-tion of the Union of British Columbia Municipalities was held with the Provincial Government. A resolution with regard to the high incidence of taxation was submitted. It requested that the Prov-i n c i a l Government be approached with a view to bringing down l e g i -slation that would cause the incidence of municipal taxation to 41. The Cowichan Leader, March 31, 1932, p . l . 42. Loc. c i t . 83 f a l l with more equality on every municipal taxpayer, instead of, as i t stood, almost entirely on the land-owners. The Municipality of North Cowiehan submitted the following figures, based on a recent year's taxes showing the inequitable manner in which taxes were levied. 885 landowners paid $52,000 or 91.8$ of the assessment. 687 others paid road taxes and pol l taxes of $4,629 or During the same year the school taxes had amounted to $19,536. Had this sum been equally distributed, i t would have averaged $12.43 per head, whereas some farmers had paid as high as $170.00. The continued failure of the provincial government to act de-cisively in combating the depression was causing a growing sense of disgust to develop in the Cowiehan area. And the Kidd Report, presented to the government in A p r i l , 1832, did nothing to miti-gate this sense of disillusionment. The Kidd Report, drawn up by a committee of five business and professional men, was a survey of British Columbia's financial situation. This committee sugg-ested that the main reason for the 1932 de f i c i t of $6,500,000 was the extravagance involved in British Columbia's crude form of par-ty p o l i t i e s . Expensive works were undertaken to please influent-i a l constituencies, and mere office-seekers who were spending pub-l i c money freely had no moral position for resistance to demands for social legislation. The government had not foreseen the de-pression. It had borrowed money in the belief that the buoyant revenues of the prosperous years would continue; and i n doing so i t had fixed charges too high for the revenue available in poor 43. The Cowiehan Leader, March 3, 1932, p . l . 84 years. Certainly there was no f i n a n c i a l provision made i n B r i t i s h Columbia for any such contingency. Nor did the educational curr-iculum of the public schools of the province include any serious attempt to prepare pupils for the economic hardship which they were destined to encounter. When the depression struck, i t was met by improvised methods, j u s t i f i e d , i f at a l l , by the hope that i t would not l a s t very long. The anonymous author of the following poem gives h i s impression of the p r o v i n c i a l government's f a l t e r i n g e f f -o r t s : P o l i t i c s i n B. C. Why think of unemployment? What matters bankruptcy? We are playing again across the Bay The same old game i n the same old way God bless the P.G-.E.'.44. Hugh Savage, commenced am e d i t o r i a l compaign i n the Cowichan  Leader i n the early months of 1932, aimed at doing away with par-ty p o l i t i c s i n B r i t i s h Columbia during the depression period. He f e l t that there was absolutely no excuse for the huge sums spent during the previous f a l l on roadwork i n which a large proportion of the so-called unemployed were very f a r from being destitute and c e r t a i n l y did not give an honest day's work. The genuine unemployed do present a vast and compli-cated problem. I t s solution i s not helped by inact-ion such as that of the past winter. Satan, i n the form of the Communist has not been i d l e among i d l e men. Our l e g i s l a t o r s are s t i l l running i n a groove and consider votes above everything. So f a r , they have f a i l e d to grasp the opportunity to prove whether they have the capacity to govern. The old fog of partisan p o l i t i c s so possesses them that they cannot d i f f e r e n t -i a t e between the a r t of governing and the a r t of ob-taining votes. 4 4 . The Cowichan Leader, March 10, 1932, p.4 . 85 What do our elected representatives propose to do a f t e r the road programme? ... Cannot the l e g i s l a t -ure now devise some plan by which every worthy un-employed person can be put i n the way of winning at least food and shelter for next winter? A general e l e c t i o n i s due soon. I f Conservatives and L i b e r a l s are sincere i n wishing to economize, they w i l l get together and l e t the e l e c t i o n go by acclama-t i o n . The public i s prepared for economies and r e a l -i z e that B r i t i s h Columbia urgently needs some form of business government during the next four years. Jack K i n e l l a r , who seems to have become Cowiehan* s protest-ing poet during the depression, soon joined with Savage, i n de-nouncing the p r o v i n c i a l government. The following i s an example of one of h i s many poems. My Party ' Tis of Thee P o l i t i c a l p a r t i e s are a l l much the same, There seems to be c e r t a i n set rules of the game. The Government Members w i l l r i s e and deplore Mistakes of the Party i n power before; And any old measure, no matter one whit, Is crazy to Tory, i f sponsored by G r i t . The bright Opposition, with unction and charm, W i l l stand i n their places, and view with alarm, A l l things that the Party i n power has done, Obstruct every mortal thing under the sun; And ' t i s often the case, the plan they deride, Is something that they would have sponsored with pride. To Party advantage, they scheme and debate, The needs of the Country can very w e l l wait; And so a l l the members, i n tedious procession, Waste time, with E l e c t i o n Talk, during the session. 46. A more important response to Savage's campaign was the form-ation of the Taxpayers' Economy League. The f i r s t meeting of t h i s group was attended by forty-two of the community's most prominent residents. The following r e s o l u t i o n was drawn up: 45. The Cowiehan Leader, March 10, 1932, p.4. 46. Ibid., A p r i l 7, 1932, p.4. 86 Whereas, i t i s apparent to the taxpayers of the Cow-ichan D i s t r i c t , assembled today i n meeting on a non-party basis, that the f i n a n c i a l p o s i t i o n of the prov-ince i s such as to cause grave concern, and Whereas, i t i s the opinion of t h i s meeting that the burden of taxation both d i r e c t and i n d i r e c t , has passed beyond a l l reasonable l i m i t s , i n view of the p r e v a i l i n g low l e v e l of commodity prices, and Whereas, according to the vast information to be gleaned from press reports i t i s apparent that our tax-ing authorities hope to develop new sources of taxation without making any r e a l e f f o r t to cut down the cost of administration and of s o c i a l service; Therefore, be i t resolved that the taxpayers of Cowi-chan D i s t r i c t assembled at t h i s meeting demand that our governments, f e d e r a l , p r o v i n c i a l and municipal, make every e f f o r t to c u r t a i l expenditure and that i n order to enforce our demands t h i s meeting proceed to organize a Taxpayers Defence Association and thereafter to use every e f f o r t to bring about the formation of s i m i l a r organizations i n every e l e c t o r a l d i s t r i c t i n the prov-ince. 4 ? > This r e s o l u t i o n was signed by the chairman, W. Waldon and the d i r e c t o r s , H. B. Vogel, John Gibb, J . H. Whittome, Dennis Ashby, Admiral Rowland Nugent, George H. Savage, Captain A. B. Matthews, K. F. Duncan, C. R. Drayton and E. W. Neel, some of the most prominent farmers and businessmen i n the community. The meeting went on to elect Gibb as president and Whittome as v i c e -president. The Taxpayers' Economy League's purpose was to im-press the necessity of maintaining lav; and order on a l l public administrative bodies; the necessity of confining themselves to the proper functions of administration; the necessity of d i s t r i b -uting the burden of taxation over a l l classes i n an equitable manner; and the maintenance of r i g i d economy and businesslike methods of expending public funds. 47. The Cowiohan Leader. May 12, 1932, p . l . 87 Savage's e d i t o r i a l , following formation of the League, re-inforced the warnings issued by the businessmen i n even more m i l -i t a n t terms. Let the government beware. Let i t pay attention to the representatives of thinking men, (Taxpayers' Economy League) apprehensive of the comfort and future of them-selves and t h e i r f a m i l i e s , and - what so many p o l i t i c i -ans forget - the welfare of t h e i r country. We deprecate force. We draw a grave warning to the a t t -ention of the government. I f i t u t i l i z e s i t s powers to perpetuate dishonest acts through c o n s t i t u t i o n a l chann-el s , a long suffering people may resort to unconstitut-i o n a l methods to ensure that those channels are purged. Quite unwittingly the Leader's militance and exuberance be-gan to arouse the unemployed i n Cowiehan to more decisive action. On May 26, twenty ratepayers appeared without warning at the North Cowiehan Municipal o f f i c e demanding that some action be taken to help the hundreds of unemployed i n the d i s t r i c t . There was v i r -t u a l l y a t o t a l lack of employment i n the v a l l e y and municipal re-l i e f had been cancelled at the end of A p r i l . The spokesman for the group, David Coupland, made i t clear that many families i n the area were p r a c t i c a l l y "up against i t " , and desperately needed work. Reference was made to the f a c t that r e l i e f work was s t i l l being carried on i n other d i s t r i c t s while i n Cowiehan i t had ceased during the previous month. Reeve T i s d a l l informed the men that the council had already been i n communication with V i c t o r i a regarding the unemployment problem, and suggested that two of them go with him to the c a p i t a l c i t y to confirm to the government the seriousness of the si t u a t i o n . This idea was approved and David Coupland and Douglas ford were 48. The Cowiehan Leader, May 19, 1932, p.4. 88 49. selected to accompany the reeve. On June 2, a special municipal council meeting was held to try and arrange some form of emergency r e l i e f . The meeting was attended by a delegation of twenty-eight unemployed municipal ratepayers who were desperately searching for work. The Hon. C. F. Davie, the local M.L.A., was also present and represented the provincial government in the discussion on unemployment. A l -though i t was divulged that not a municipal family, represented by those present, was starving, as had been intimated, the seri-ousness of the situation i n many local homes was made clear. D. Coupland, spokesman for the delegation, explained that the men did not want direct r e l i e f , but rather, wanted-to work for their money. Reeve Tisdall sympathized with the men but pointed out that: "It is a recognized fact that unemployment is not lessening, but 50. i s s t i l l increasing." He went on to report that the committee which had visited Victoria the week before, had received "no glad tidings". The government claimed that they were unable to assist the municipality until current negotiations with the Federal Gov-ernment concerning r e l i e f work should be completed. In spite of this report, the municipal council passed a resolution asking the provincial government to recommence work on the Island Highway diversion at Tyee, as a special emergency r e l i e f measure for married men i n the community. When asked by Coupland what the unemployed should do in the 49. The Cowichan Leader. May 26, 1932, p . l . 50. Ibid., June 2, 1932, p . l . 89 meantime, Davie r e p l i e d , " I f yon have men who have nothing to eat, 51. they should come to the municipality and obtain d i r e c t r e l i e f . " In the meantime, seeing the unsettling e f f e c t that h i s out-spoken e d i t o r i a l s were having among the l o c a l unemployed, Savage cautioned that "the Taxpayers' Economy League did not propose to 52 s t a r t a revolution but to work i n a c o n s t i t u t i o n a l manner." For almost three years now the Cowiehan Valley had been locked i n the ever tightening g r i p of the depression. It i s per-haps no wonder then that c e r t a i n sections of the community were becoming increasingly d i s a f f e c t e d . The farmers i n the valley were p a r t i c u l a r l y embittered as they struggled to maintain them-selves on t h e i r lands while r e s i s t i n g the temptation to j o i n the unemployed on the road-gangs. One of them wrote: S i r : The squander mania has spread to the North Cowi-ehan municipal council. Just recently a motion ... r a i s i n g the road men's wages, was passed by council. I am sure that this a c t i o n w i l l be condemned by the majority of taxpayers and more p a r t i c u l a r l y by those unfortunates now receiving 180 per pound for butterfat; Also by the chicken men s e l l i n g eggs for below the cost of production. The ad d i t i o n a l wages being paid the men now employed could have been used to better advantage by giving one or two extra men a job. There are families i n th i s d i s t r i c t not getting enough to eat. Patriotism i s just as necessary i n peace time as i n war. The men g u i l t y of expecting and accepting a r a i s e of wages at the ex-pense of t h e i r fellow men are, to my mind, most im-p a t r i o t i c . Might I suggest ... that the farmer i s the only man that has been f a i t h f u l to the community. For years the 51. The Cowiohan Leader, June 2, 1932, p . l . 52. Loc. c i t . 90 public has ridden on h i s back. He i s the only man who does not get any returns on thousands of d o l l a r s i n -vested i n land, stock and implements, and, with the present p r i c e of farm produce, one does not get one cent for the long hours of labour on the f a r m . 5 3 Many of the unemployed, being ex-servicemen, were members of the Canadian Legion. It must have been p a r t i c u l a r l y d i s -heartening for these men who, having risked their l i v e s for the cause of freedom and democracy, now found themselves struggling to stay a l i v e i n what should have been a land of plenty. Having struck several Germans with a bayonet For Canada, the Empire, and C i v i l i z a t i o n , This unemployed ex-service man Surveys the f r u i t s of his endeavours. 54. Members of the Legion attempted to help each other with small jobs as much as they were able. For, l i k e many other members of the community, they were of the opinion that i f the public helped with pr o v i s i o n a l work and did not deal with Orientals, there would be l i t t l e need to c a l l on the m u n i c i p a l i t i e s or the govern-ment . The solution to the problem of the Great Depression was not that simple however. The country was by t h i s time facing a s i t -uation which was f a r more serious than that known during the war. For at least during the war years dependents were taken care of; there was a P a t r i o t i c Fund; and there was work for everyone. But by 1932, jobs had become "rarer than diamonds", and the general f e e l i n g of unrest was increasing. Something must be done. We venture to suggest that the time f o r concerted act-ion i s here. I t i s madness to s i t inactive. I f the 53. The Cowichan Leader, June 2, 1932, p.4. 54. Scott, F.R., "The Hero", Canadian Forum, "An Anthology of Up To Date Canadian Poetry", V o l . XII, pp.290-291. 91 government w i l l not act, then the l o c a l todies must do a l l i n their power to improve the sit u a t i o n . oo • The burden was by no means eased when i n June the l o c a l schools released a flood of young men and women, boys and g i r l s onto the.labour market. What were they to do? We come with pulses clear and strong ' And gay winds r i p p l i n g f l e e t , With dancing hope and running song -We come on eager feet. S t i l l as the land, without a sign, Dark images, uncouth, We stand against a l i g h t May sky -The living-dead of youth! Do • Leaving school or college, and giving up plans f o r advanced edu-cation, they attempted to help support the family i n i t s c r i s i s . Many others l e f t t h e i r homes i n an e f f o r t to r e l i e v e the family's economic s t r a i n . Roaming the country, not yet s e t t l e d down to a very d i s c i p l i n e d existence, i t was inevitable that they beoome "bums", unreliable, incapable, indolent, and unemployable. . Some people i n Cowichan were suggesting that single men and women with employment be made to give up t h e i r place to married men with f a m i l i e s . But t h i s was not an answer to the problem. Youth too demanded the ri g h t to l i v e and to work. The editor of the Leader warned: To condemn our young people to idleness and worse i s f o l l y unspeakable. I t s consequences to them and to us scarcely bear thinking of - but they must be thought of. And some plan of work must be devised. R_ Every e f f o r t was being made by the l o c a l o f f i c i a l s to keep 55. The Cowichan Leader. June 23, 1932, p.4. 56. Creighton, A. B., "Unemployed", Canadian Forum, Vol. XIV, November, 1933, p.71 57. The Cowiohan Leader, June 23, 1932, p.4. 92 as many young people as possible enrolled i n the d i s t r i c t ' s schools. For during the depression a great deal of emphasis was placed upon the value of education. In a time when employers were able to pick and choose from a huge labour market, they i n -v a r i a b l y took the man with the best educational q u a l i f i c a t i o n s . However, by the summer of 1932, money was becoming so scarce that people began to question the value of the educational system, and increasing public concern was expressed over what were des-cribed as "exhorbitant educational costs". As one man put i t : S i r : Can we continue to finance the cost of our edu-cat i o n a l system, under the present economic conditions? I t would seem that a reduction of at least half i n such costs must be effected at once, and to do t h i s , i t w i l l be necessary to lower our school teachers' s a l a r i e s by a substantial amount. ... I t i s impossible to maintain taxation at the old l e v e l . ... I t i s to their (the teachers') in t e r e s t s to accept a big reduction now with continued employment rather than to have some schools closed. 58. On June 30, 1932, with the end of term, the school board r e -leased six teachers and a p r i n c i p a l , and severely cut back the s a l a r i e s of the remaining teachers. Even the community's churches were finding i t d i f f i c u l t to meet t h e i r obligations during the period. St. Peter's, the mother Anglican church i n the d i s t r i c t , had "met a l l i t s obligations i n 1931, but i n 1932 a l l stipends were reduced by 10$. The parish had raided ... i t s reserve funds the previous year, but i n 1932 ... there were no reserve funds. The Bishop exhorted the parish-59. ioners to give jewellery to the church to augment funds." 58. The Cowiehan Leader. July 14, 1932, p.4. 59. Williams, D. P., One Hundred Years at St. Peter's. Cowiehan Leader, Duncan, 1967, p.32. 93 As conditions continued to wors/en, the Taxpayers' Economy League was p e r s i s t i n g with i t s e f f o r t s to come up with some e f f -ective measures to combat the grave economic s i t u a t i o n facing the community and the province. A gathering of sixty members unani-moustfly adopted the following platform i n June, 1932. 1. To press f o r a p r o v i n c i a l r e d i s t r i b u t i o n measure, whereby a reduction of at least 50% of the member-ship of the p r o v i n c i a l l e g i s l a t u r e w i l l be e f f e c t -ed and that we are prepared to recommend the Cowi-chan-Newcastle E l e c t o r a l D i s t r i c t be merged with other p r o v i n c i a l d i s t r i c t s , provided, however, that a s i m i l a r p o l i c y be adopted throughout t h i s province. 2. That the number of cabinet ministers be reduced. 3. That r e s p o n s i b i l i t y for expenditure on roads be placed d i r e c t l y on the d i s t r i c t engineers; that permanent road employees be retained where they have proved to be e f f e c t i v e , and that casual lab-our be d i s t r i b u t e d f a i r l y amongst those who need work. 4. That, f o r the time being, no new c a p i t a l expendi-tures be made on roads or buildings. 5. That the control of school expenditure i n c i t i e s and m u n i c i p a l i t i e s be vested i n the c i t y and muni-c i p a l councils. 6. That expenditures on education be reduced; that a l t e r a t i o n s be made i n the school curriculum, and that the taxation for school purposes be more widely di s t r i b u t e d so as to reduce the present ex-cessive burden on lands. 7. That a l l exi s t i n g government owned enterprises (with the exception of the Liquor Control Board) be disposed of on the best terms obtainable and as speedily as possible, and that the government do not again enter into other commitments for govern-ment ownership. 8. That expenditures on s o c i a l services be more r i g -i d l y supervised and administered under the existing regulations and, where necessary, the regulations be amended to prevent abuse. 9. That whereas the revenue f o r the year ending March 94 31, 1933, i s l i k e l y to f a l l short of expectations by a considerable amount, i t i s therefore the opin-ion of the Taxpayers', Economy League that drastic reductions in the costs of administration should be" made i n a l l provincial government departments, such being brought about by: a) cutting down the present excessive overhead costs of the various departments and b) by the elimination of a l l such services as can-not be regarded as absolutely necessary. 60. The League went on to express i t s concern over the growing sense of apathy which was apparent in the Cowiehan area, resulting from the extended period of unemployment. The people seemed incapable of even protesting effectively. This was a dangerous situation for, as the League pointed out, the problem was far from being near an end. Indeed, there was s t i l l a long period of depression ahead; some even suggested that the bankruptcy of the province was not far removed. Savage reinforced the opinions of the Economy League. He placed the onus for the present economic condition^ at the people's feet, and challenged them to face up to their responsibility. There are no corners to be turned in this depression. It came upon us slowly, like an insidious disease. We shall grow out of i t slowly i f we face i t like men. Of one fact we may be sure: There can be no improvement for any-one u n t i l the prices of primary commodities, of farm pro-duce, begin to rise and keep rising steadily. You may go broke, may even wander the country looking for food, but you may s t i l l keep your soul intact. It i s not for nothing that one liturgy prays: "In a l l time of our wealth, Good Lord, deliver us." We have a l l had an era of unprecidented luxury and spending. It turned many of our heads and hearts. Are we now entirely repemtant?gj_> 60. The Cowiehan Leader, June 30, 1932, p . l . 61. Ibid., August 18, 1932, p.4. 95 The Leader also renewed the charge that the majority of those who were receiving r e l i e f , were not giving a day's work for a day's pay. It was probably true that a certain number of those drawing r e l i e f were indolent and incapable. But their c r i t i c s should not have forgotten that a very large part of this indolence and unemployability was attributable to the economic insecurity, the state of privation, and the consequent bad social conditions under which these people were forced to l i v e . Fortunately, not a l l of those who were forced to accept re-l i e f work became apathetic or lost their sense of pride. In re-ply to an editorial which had suggested that most of the workers were loafing around at the taxpayers' expense, one of the r e l i e f workers wrote: "I am only an ex-Royal Marine and j o l l y glad, at present, to get as much work as I can, even at r e l i e f rates, I can only say that your assertion that 95% of r e l i e f workers are 62. openly and shamelessly loafing i s a d l i e . " S t i l l another letter to the editor contradicted a charge that a group of men had quit a job (picking peas) on account of the heat. The facts are that those men ... were overoome by the excessive wages, 15£ per hour, and had the nerve to strike for 25# per hour. No doubt the heat on that day (90 degrees in the shade) induced them to ask for that excessive wage! Another point i s that none of these men are asking or expect r e l i e f from the city. The present trend among some employers of labour i s to bring the wages down to 15# per hour. They t e l l you they can get Chinamen for 10# 62. The Cowichan Leader. August 18, 1932, p.4. 96 Who can blame the men for kieking? g 3 Some encouraging news was forthcoming during the summer of 1932, when the people in Cowiohan heard that the British Columbia lumbermen were preparing to make the strongest bid ever attempted for the lumber trade of the United Kingdom. For the United King-dom was the greatest lumber importing country i n the world, re-quiring over thirty-three b i l l i o n feet a year. If that market could be captured or even shared in a reasonable way with the oth-er great producing areas, the problem of the province's f i r s t i n -dustry would be largely solved. In July, 1932, representatives of Great Britain and the Dom-inions, met in Ottawa in order to find some solution to the gener-a l economic impasse i n which their respective nations found them-selves. They agreed that the only hope for solution lay in in-creased intra-Commonwealth trade encouraged by imperial prefer-ence. The significance of Britain's abandonment of her tradition-a l policy of free trade to British Columbia lumbermen lay i n the 10$ preference which Great Britain agreed to accord to lumber from the Dominions. The 10$ preference did not prove large enough, however, to dislodge the Baltic and Russian products from the United Kingdom markets. The Canadian industry, therefore, requested a prefer-ence of at least 20$. Great Britain did not agree but instead, in accordance with Article 21 of the Ottawa Trade Agreement, im-64 posed an embargo on Soviet lumber. * This embargo was to be one 63. The Cowiehan Leader. August 18, 1932, p.4. 64. Lawrence, J. C , "Markets and Capital", p. 138. 97 of the principal causes of labour trouble in the British Columbia lumber industry during the next few years, as Communist agitators worked to disrupt production, in the hope that Russia would once again be able to step into the breech. The Baltic region now remained the Canadian industry*s most serious competitor in the United Kingdom, and i n the Commonwealth and Empire. This formidable competition was based upon ample, satisfactory and accessible forest resources, f i r s t class machin-ery, high grade management, competent labour at under 15# per hour, and a freight haul averaging only 1,000 miles to the United 65 Kingdom market, as compared with British Columbia's 9,000 miles. British Columbia's lumbermen were willing and anxious to acc-ept the challenge, however, and began an active sales campaign i n the f a l l of 1932. Over the next few years the success of their efforts would become quite evident as shipments of 81,000,000 feet to the United Kingdom i n 1931 were to grow to 455,000,000 feet by 66. 1934. This great consumption of lumber in Great B r i t i n i n the depression decade was based on the decision of the British govern-ment to aid slum clearance and to subsidize large-scale housing development projects. The Ottawa Trade Agreements also gave British Columbia a good position in the Australian market. Australian trade grew rapidly from 41,000,000 feet i n 1929, to 158,000,000 feet i n 1937, as British Columbia's share in the total export of lumber from the Pacific Coast to the Australian market rose from 16$ i n 1929 65. B. C. Lumberman. Vol. 18, October 1934, p.15. 66. Lawrence, J. C , "Markets and Capital", p.142. 98 to 92$ in 1934.67* It would be some time, however, before direct benefits from these negotiations would be f e l t i n the Cowiehan area. In the meantime, conditions continued to deteriorate during the summer and f a l l of 1932. Those few men who were s t i l l employed i n the lumber industry, at either the Victoria Lumber and Manufacturing m i l l at Chemainus or i n the Industrial Timber Mills at Youbou, had received three wage outs since the beginning of the year and were now earning only 250 an ahour; and closure of these last two 68 mills seemed imminent. The winter of 1932 was by far the worst ever experienced in the Cowiehan Valley. Over 25$ of the population in the Munici-pality of North Cowiehan were being supported by direct r e l i e f ; the need was estimated to be at least 50$ more urgent than that 69 of the preceding year. * The Duncan Health Centre nurses, who were probably more aware than anyone of what was going on behind the scenes, gave a report on conditions just prior to Christmas. Families on r e l i e f had only enough money to purchase food-stuffs, there was no surplus for clothes or shoes. And even the food purchased was of the most inexpensive quality. "While we a l l may be able to subsist on vegetables for a long time, we undoubtedly need meat, eggs, and a l i t t l e f i s h occasionally, in fact they are necessities." Many of the unemployed hunted deer, in defiance of game regulations, while others fished for cod or dug clams to eke out their meager r e l i e f funds. 67. Lawrence, J. C , "Markets and Capital", p.142. 68. Olsen, W. H., Water Over the V/heel. 1963, Peninsula Printing Co., Sidney, p.134. 69. "Minutes of the Municipality of North Cowiohan", March 9, 1933. 99 During the previous winter the Health Centre had managed to keep most people clothed, but with the passage of another year their stock of clothing and underwear was practically gone. Chil-dren were in desperate need of woolen underthings and stockings, and the Centre was anticipating a deluge of requests, particularly i f the cold weather continued. It was not a case of extravagance, but of families, through unemployment, eking out a subsistence on bare necessities, u n t i l those necessities were at an end. In the face of this emergency the local service clubs, the Health Centre, and the newspaper sponsored a drive to collect foodstuffs, clothing, and any cash which might be available. In spite of the extremely severe conditions being experienced by most of the population, the response to the plea demonstrated that com-munity s p i r i t was s t i l l strong, as enough material was collected to assist more than seventy families over the Christmas period. The new year did not offer much in the way of hope. Mayor Provost*s New Year's message forecast a much harder year than that through which the city had just passed. Building permits i n 1932 had been the lowest ever recorded, with only $8,673 worth 70. of construction being carried out. * The volume of sales at the farmer's market had increased slightly but further price drops in 1932 had meant that l i t t l e profit was forthcoming. Liquor sales had reached an all-time low, having dropped over $115,000 from 71 the 1929 level, to stand at $65,479.00. What was even more 70. The Cowichan Leader. January 12, 1933, p . l . 71 British Columbia Liquor Control Board. Twelfth Report, 1932, p.143. 100 s t a r t l i n g was the decrease i n the b i r t h rate which i n 1930 stood 72 at 111, and i n 1932 only reached 88. In an open l e t t e r to the Leader i n January, the mayor was able to make some encouraging remarks. The City of Duncan was s t i l l rated f i n a n c i a l l y as one of the most sound municipalities i n the province. At a time when many mun i c i p a l i t i e s were de-f a u l t i n g , Duncan's bonds were being quoted at a p r i c e near prov-i n c i a l issues. In addition, a l l of her sinking funds were f u l l y 73 paid up to date and i n t a c t . The Municipality of North Cowiehan had managed to come through the year with a surplus of $6,700, a figure far exceed-74. ing the estimated amount. * Unexpectedly good tax Collections and sales of land made for the higher surplus. During the year the ratepayers' share of r e l i e f costs had come to $1,500. I t was becoming increasingly d i f f i c u l t , however, to fin d economic work to a l l o t f o r r e l i e f . In the spring of 1933, provision of work fo r the unemployed was by f a r the greatest problem facing the l o c a l o f f i c i a l s . The large V i c t o r i a Lumber and Manufacturing Co.'s m i l l at Chemainus had f a i l e d to reopen a f t e r the Christmas closure, thereby leav-ing the I n d u s t r i a l Timber M i l l s plant at You' as the only operat-ing m i l l i n the v a l l e y . By March, the Municipality of North Cowiehan council report-ed that over one-quarter of the municipal population was receiving d i r e c t r e l i e f and that the number was growing d a i l y . There were 72. The 61st Report of V i t a l S t a t i s t i c s of B r i t i s h Columbia, 1932, King's P r i n t e r , V i c t o r i a , 1933. 73. The Cowiehan Leader. January 12, 1933, p.7. 74. Loc. c i t . 101 266 r e g i s t r a n t s , but, including dependents, the l i s t s showed some 800 men, women, and children being helped. Of t h i s l i s t , 189 were residents i n the Chemainus townsite where there was an a l -most t o t a l lack of employment due to the closure of the m i l l . ! Y/ith an ever-increasing number of men applying f o r a s s i s t -ance, the North Cowichan council was forced to once more tighten the r e s t r i c t i o n s . No persons were to be given d i r e c t r e l i e f who had a telephone or a 1933 car licence. In future, r e l i e f would be issued i n scr i p and cash, instead of a l l cash as formerly. Recipients of d i r e c t r e l i e f would be required to work out the amount of r e l i e f given at the rate of two d o l l a r s per day instead of two-fifty a day as previously. Immediately protests were forthcoming concerning the decision to refuse r e l i e f to any person who had a telephone or a current car l i c e n c e . As one man put i t : "On several occasions the t e l e -phone has been the medium through which I have obtained work ... When I applied f o r r e l i e f work, one of the f i r s t questions asked was f o r my phone number. The road foreman has used t h i s means of communication to c a l l the men out to work as required, and most of us have kept the phone i n at considerable s e l f - s a c r i f i c e on 7 5 our part." " I t was further argued that the small farmers needed cars to enable them to bring produce to town and to haul feed to th e i r stock. "Would the council prefer the small rancher to s e l l his stock at a s a c r i f i c e p r i c e , and become a burden on the comm-unity?" The closing remark i n one of these l e t t e r s c l e a r l y revealed 75. The Cowichan Leader, February 16, 1933, p.4. 102 the f u t i l i t y of the work being done by those on r e l i e f . Most of the r e l i e f work I have done t h i s winter has consisted of cutting grass o f f the roadside with a mattock which would have been k i l l e d by the f r o s t anyway. One of the Unemployed. 7 6 Is i t any wonder that these men were becoming increasingly ap-athetic? "In the darkness with a bundle of g r i e f the people march. In the night, and overhead a shovel of stars for keeps, the people march: •Where to? What next?'" 76. The Cowiehan Leader, February 16, 1933, p.4. 77. Sandburg, Carl, The People, Yes, Harcourt, Bruce, New York, 1936. 103 Chapter III THE PEOPLE: A BUILDER AGAIN It was at this point, in the spring of 1933, when conditions were at their worst, that the f i r s t ray of hope was offered to the people of Cowiehan. It was contained i n an announcement by Mayo Singh, the head of the Mayo Lumber Company, which stated that plans were being made to reopen the local plant early in the year with a working force of between 150 and 175 men. The ann-ouncement was made following reasonable assurance that the road-way between the Duncan-Lake Cowiehan highway and the village of Paldi, where the m i l l was located, would be put into shape by the Department of Public Works. Even more welcome was the actual resumption of operations by the Hillcrest Lumber Company early in March. The value of Carle-ton Stone's continued questing for British markets was revealed as the new plant began to ship over twenty railway cars a week of their specially cut material to the United Kingdom.^"* Within a matter of weeks, the entire atmosphere in the Cow-iehan area was changed as the results of the Ottawa Trade Agree-ment began to make themselves f e l t i n the valley. For the f i r s t time in three years most of the lumber camps and mills were open-ing, giving employment to hundreds of Cowiehan's married and single men. In addition to Hillcrest, there was the large Vic-toria Lumber and Manufacturing Company's mil l at Chemainus, which resumed operations on March 17; while the Mayo Lumber Company saw 1. B. C. Lumberman, Vol. 17, March, 1933, p.14. 104 their promised opening take place on A p r i l 1, after a lapse of operations since October 31, 1930. The Industrial Timber Comp-any's large m i l l at Youbou resumed cutting for what was expected to be either permanent or at least a very long run; while the Shawnigan Lake Lumber Company recommenced cutting early in May, 2. after an extended period of closure. For the people of the Cowichan area, i t appeared that the corner had at last been turned. As i s so often the case, however, once conditions in the valley had begun to improve, the reaction to the past years of poverty and suffering became more fervent, particularly among that section of the population whioh was not yet reaping the ben-ef i t s of the revived lumber harvest. For these people unemploy-ment was s t i l l a major problem, and when the Canadian Legion ann-ounced a meeting to discuss the findings of a committee which had been set up to investigate unemployment causes and local econom-i c conditions, a great deal of interest was shown. Of the seventy-five people who attended the meeting, two-thirds were unemployed, and they were obviously disappointed that the discussion did not centre on local unemployment conditions. Some had hoped that "the corner" for the local unemployed would be located. Instead, the solutions which were offered were either regional or national in scope. At the conclusion of the meeting the following resolutions were drawn up by the Legion's committee to be presented to the provincial government: 2. B. C. Lumberman. Vol. 17, A p r i l , 1933, p.18. 105 1. This committee recommends some form of controlled inflation. 2. That one of the primary causes why business in Canada is depressed is owning to the contraction of the export trade, and, until we f a c i l i t a t e the entry of British goods into Canada by drast-i c a l l y cutting down t a r i f f barriers.there i s l i t t l e hope of extending the market for our prim-ary products i n Great Britain. 3. That instead of putting young men in concentration camps the machinery of the present forces of the army and navy be utilized to give lads from age 18 to 24 technical training under discipline.^ The failure of the Legion's committee to study local unem-ployment conditions brought the following protest: We ... know that right here, in our l i t t l e corner of the universe, are many young and old men who are out of work. We have families who have insufficient food and clothing. Would i t not be better i f we here got busy and concentrated a l l our activities on our own centre? Are the commendable efforts put forth by the various organizations at Christmas sufficient for the other 364 days of the year? Is i t not the opportune time for a l l the organizations of this d i s t r i c t to get together and form one central committee for the purpose of getting down to brass tacks and going after our problem?. The -problem1 of unemployment continued to decrease during the opening months of 1933, however, as the forest industry ab-sorbed more and more of the available labour i n the community. During the previous winter Lake Cowiehan, the village at the foot of Cowiehan Lake, had had as many as 150 men receiving r e l i e f from the provincial office i n Duncan, at a monthly cost of well over $1,000. By June, 1933, there was not one Lake Cowiehan 3. The Cowiehan Leader. February 23, 1933, p . l 4. Ibid.. p.4. 106 man s t i l l registered, while figures for the entire government 5. d i s t r i c t had dropped from £00 i n March to 42 i n June. In May, 7,328,000 feet of lumber were cleared by the Chemain-us customs house from mills i n Chemainus, Hill c r e s t , Mayo and You-bou. The largest portion of this lumber, 2,121,000 feet, was bound for the British market, while 526,000 feet went to the At-lantic seaboard and Quebec, 1,472,000 feet to China and 2,582,000 g feet to Australasia. * Because the Cowichan valley was not as hard-hit by the dep-ression as some other areas i n the province, and because i t was already beginning to show signs of recovery early i n 1933, the valley began to receive a considerable number of new settlers un-der the long sought Mback-to-the-land»' movement, whioh was spon-sored by the provincial government. Under the new plan, families, drawn primarily from urban areas like Vancouver, were placed on fifteen acre plots of vacant Soldier Settlement Board lands in the valley. Selected by the Vancouver Unemployment Relief Comm-ittee, these families were financed to the extent of $600, and were exempt from payment of rent for two years, after which time i t was hoped that they would be self-supporting, "and able to make provision to purchase their holdings. The f i r s t of these grants were made to such unlikely farmer candidates as an architect, a mechanic and a salesman. As conditions continued to improve rapidly in the Cowiohan area, many of those people who had been accused of being apathetic during the years of hardship and suffering, now became quite vocal. 5. The Cowichan Leader. June 29, 1933, p . l . 6. B. C. Lumberman. Vol. 17, August, 1933, p.15. 107 Those few who were s t i l l on r e l i e f were particularly outspoken i n their criticism of the provincial government, whioh, in their opinion, had failed to come up with an effective answer to the depression. These people were completely disillusioned with the regular party system as they had seen i t operate during the years of de-privation and suffering; they wanted something new, something different. Hugh Savage was undoubtedly expressing the thoughts of the majority of his readers when in May he began to attack the Hon. C. F. Davie, Cowichan's Member of the Legislative Ass-embly, for his inadequacies during the depression. Davie had recently resigned the Speakership of the House. After a l l these years, Savage explained, Davie had now discovered that he had been unable to get one of his fourteen election planks impliment^ ed. Yet he was a member of the Conservative party, which had a large preponderance in the Legislature. "He has had his chance. He has f a i l e d . " 7 * Many of the citizens of the Cowichan area wanted something new in the way of a p o l i t i c a l party and they knew where to get i t . Since early in 1933, they had been able to tune in their radios to hear Dr. Lyle Telford, a spell-binding orator from Vancouver, proclaim a plan of socialism for British Columbia and Canada. Representing the newly formed Cooperative Commonwealth Federation, Dr. Telford emphasized the merit of his party's twelve point provincial programme, drawn up to appeal to farmers, 7. The Cowichan Leader. May 11, 1933, p.4. 108 trade unionists, small businessmen, the unemployed, and the doctrinaire Socialists. With an election due in the f a l l of 1933, the C.CF, were using the effects of the depression to f u l l advantage to gain a foothold i n the province. When Telford paid a v i s i t to Dunoan i n March, over 200 peo-ple attended the meeting to hear him outline his programme. His ideas were apparently well-received for following the meeting, preliminary organizational plans were made for an a f f i l i a t e d 8. branch of the party i n Duncan. By the end of March the area's f i r s t C.CF. elub had been established with W. H. Hawkes elected as president and W. E. Brookbank as vice-president. Their work was to be primarily educational as study groups were formed to consider economics, sociology and other kindred subjects. Within a few months, three more elubs were organized at Cobble H i l l , Shawnigan Lake and H i l l c r e s t . In A p r i l , 1933, the National Unemployed Workers Association, which had been more successful i n up-Island points than in Cowi-ohan, organized a hunger march on Victoria. One hundred and twenty of these "hunger marchers", including twelve women, arr-ived in Duncan from Nanaimo on Ap r i l 6. They were demanding an increase of 25$ i n r e l i e f allowances, and the right to eat and sleep where they chose. "We have produced the wealth of the coun-try, and now that there are no jobs for us, we should be kept and given . decent l i v i n g . - 9 ' The marchers spent one day and a night in the city trying to enlist supporters from among those who were s t i l l unemployed i n 8. The Cowiohan Leader, March 2, 1933, p . l . 9. Ibid., A p r i l 6, 1933, p . l . 109 the valley. However, after having spent the night sleeping on the floor of the Agricultural Hall, they l e f t the next morning with only one Duncan man i n their ranks, and i t has been sugg-ested that this man quit his job i n order to join the maroh. In general, the more moderate soc i a l i s t demands of the C.C.F. had a stronger appeal to the people of Cowichan than did the revolu-tionary ideas of the Communist led N.U.W.A. It was the threat of a Socialist victory in the Cowiohan-Newoastle constituency i n the forthcoming election which gave rise to one of the strangest phenomenon to occur i n a l l of Can-ada as a reaction to the Great Depression. Hugh Savage, editor of the Cowichan Leader, and a former president of the Canadian Weekly Newspapers1 Association, decided to become a candidate for election; and while this may not have been surprising, his plat-form most certainly was. For, i t was based solely on the tenets of the Oxford Group: absolute sincerity, absolute purity, absol-ute unselfishness, and absolute love. It was perhaps a f i t t i n g platform for a man whose independent weekly had always carried the following pledge at i t s masthead: Here shall the Press the People's right maintain, Uhawed by influence and unbribed by gain; Here patriot Truth her glamorous precepts draw, Pledged to Religion, Liberty, and Law. Joseph Story, A.D., 1779. Founded by an American, Dr. F. N. D. Buchman, the Oxford Group Movement had developed very rapidly during the nearly t h i r t -ies as people sought to find an answer to the depression. The Movement f i r s t reached Canada i n October, 1932, when overflow meetings were held from coast to coast. In Vancouver the re-110 sponse was phenomenal as 30,000 people attended meetings in a jingle day. Savage, who was by nature a man of strong religious conviction, was soon converted to the Oxford Group view that the only remedy for the depression would come through the individual altering his views. "It is no use changing the government with-out changing ourselves." Interest in Savage's campaign was soon widespread: A l l over the Christian world people who know nothing of British Columbia ... s t i l l know about the elect-ion in Cowichan-Newoastle. It has spread to the bounds of the English-speaking c i v i l i z a t i o n and beyond, this contest i n the leisure-ly, huntin', shootin', fishing valley of the Cowiehan. It i s news read eagerly i n lands over the sea, be-cause i n Cowiehan a candidate i s running on a platform of pure Christianity. The other candidates of course, consider Mr. Savage a well-meaning visionary. ... But Mr. Savage has no qualms about these things. To him the whole story of our present chaos, i s quite simple - the trouble l i e s not with the state, not with the system, but with the individual, teach him neighbourliness, honesty, in-dustry, decency and you reform the state. And until you reform the individual thus, you have no foundat-ion to build on, a l l your p o l i t i c a l reforms w i l l in-evitably collapse. 1 0 Three candidates were i n the running against Savage; C. F. Davie, K.C., now a Non-Partisan Independent; Sam Guthrie, the fighting Socialist, representing the C.C.F.; and David Ramsay, who was imported by the Liberals from Saanich where he had been managing the campaign to beat Premier Tolmie. Ramsay hardly had a chance of election, coming as he did from outside into a not-oriously Conservative riding, though he was a stout campaigner and experiencedpoliticiam, a man of high principles and earnest 10. Hutchison, Bruce, "On the T r a i l of the Election", Van-couver Province. October31, 1933, p.3. I l l Liberalism. Davie naturally counted on the Conservative vote of Cowiohan, but part of that would inevitably go to Savage f o l -lowing the incumbent's poor showing during the previous adminis-tration. The former Speaker was an able p o l i t i c i a n and a strong campaigner, who had broken with the government i n the spring of 1933 to join with W. J. Bowser and the Non-Partisans. Samuel Guthrie was one of the most experienced candidates in the C.C.F., a labour man who had built up a fine reputation for integrity when he was previously i n the House. No one would have been surprised i f , i n the s p l i t of the orthodox party vote between the other three candidates, Guthrie had been elected, even though Cowichan was by nature one of the most Conservative places in Can-ada. In the weeks preceding the election many of the C.C.F.'s leading members visited the Cowichan area to lend their support to Guthrie. In August, J.S. Woodsworth, founder and leader of the national party, addressed a large crowd i n the Agricultural Hall. People of a l l p o l i t i c a l inclinations were included in the audience which was drawn out of curiosity and respect to see and hear this man who during the "dirty t h i r t i e s " had become known as the workers' representative i n Ottawa. On behalf of his candi-date, Woodsworth strongly denied that there was any Communist con-nection in the C.C.F. Instead, he maintained that this party was not a radical organization but a peaceful, progressive movement.1"1" The threat of a socialist victory i n Cowichan, i f the issue had been l e f t between Davie and Guthrie, had been the determining 11. The Cowichan Leader. August 31, 1933, p . l . 112 factor in Savage's decision to run. Previously he had repeated-ly refused to allow his name to be put forward as a candidate. But when no one else came forward, he f e l t that i t was clearly 12. his duty "to make the sacrifice". He had no campaign funds; his only asset, outside of the strong faith he possessed i n the justice of his cause, was his newspaper, the Cowiohan Leader. But Savage's genial personality concealed a strong w i l l . He was not a fluent platform speaker, but he made big strides i n this respect during the campaign, and on October 31, over 900 people crowded into the Agricultural Hall to hear him make his f i n a l ad-dress. The results of the election gave Savage a decisive victory over his opponents. After the fi n a l count, the results were as follows: Savage - 1,655; Guthrie - 1,288; Davie - 585; and Ram-13. say - 520. * The outcome of the election would indicate that the people of Cowiohan were as disaffected with the established party system i n 1933 as they had been back in 1919. They had grown tired of the endless promises and assertions, the ceaseless ra i l i n g at the opposition, the backbiting and meannesses. They had become nauseated with patronage and manipulations and "prac-t i c a l " p o l i t i c s . It apparently did not detract from a man's in-fluence that he may have no coherent plan for putting everyone to work overnight; but citizens did want a man whom they could trust, who was awake to the terrible plight into which the major-i t y of human beings had fallen. They wanted him to think i n terms of humanity, not in terms of money or p o l i t i c a l advantage. 12. The Cowiehan Leader. October 12, 1933, p . l . 13. Ibid.. November 30, 1933, p . l . 113 Thus, of a l l the curious metamorphoses brought about by the pro-longed depression from which Cowichan was slowly emerging, this campaign contributed a unique feature, and the advent of Savage into the British Columbia Legislature in the exciting session which followed was regarded with peculiar interest. As i t turned out, except on a few minor matters, Savage opp-osed the new Pattullo Liberal Government, and frequently found himself associated with Gerry McGeer, as mover and seconder of motions c r i t i c a l of the administration. McGeer had been elected as a Liberal member of the legislature, but he had subsequently broken with the premier when he was not included i n the cabinet. While Savage was not i n complete accord with McGeer*s unorthodox theories, i t i s significant that they were both very active i n the Oxford Group Movement. Meanwhile, with the oontinued resumption of employment in 1933, the people of Cowichan began to experience a renewed sense of optimism. Bri t i s h Columbia's exports of lumber to foreign countries, not including the United States, increased by better than f i f t y percent i n the f i r s t six months of the year over the 14 corresponding period in 1932. * And with steadily rising prices averaging two dollars per thousand during A p r i l , May and June, 1933, the increased exports represented a much greater increase i n actual money than was represented i n footage. By August, the Swedish m i l l at Hillcrest was working around the clock to f i l l 14. B. C. Lumberman, Vol. 17, August, 1933, p.15, 1933 I six months) - 241,232,150 board feet. 1932 (six months) - 163,544,317 board feet. 114 i t s orders. Almost a l l of the pre-depression mills were hack in f u l l operation, and the Leader estimated that for the year, wages paid by the companies were li k e l y to reaoh the $1,000,000 mark should conditions be sustained. Once more there seemed to be some hope for the future and an opportunity to enjoy the present. The following poem, while i t may lack something in tstyle, does il l u s t r a t e this renewed interest i n l i f e which was becoming apparent i n Cowiehan. Saturday Night i n Duncan £ut on your Sunday best. You say It's pleasure that you ^eek. I ' l l drive you into Duncan for The big time of the week. I love to park my car at night Where folks are laughing gay, And c r i t i c i z e the old and young Who pass along the way. There's Walter with a brand-new car And six g i r l s i n the back. 'S funny how they get the dames And funnier s t i l l the "jack". The g i r l s seem specially dressed tonight; Must be a danoe somewhere. The sheiks grouped by the Island Drug Are slieking down their hair. Round, round the block the flappers go, And giggle hand in hand, And just to pass that bunch of boys That on the corner stand. There's Johnny ambling down the street. His step's uncertain too. I heard him t e l l i n g Mary that He'd only take a "few". Some country friends in trusted Ford Roll down the "Great White Way", With umpteen children in the front, In back, two bales of hay. 115 Most every face i t wears a smile; A few seem rather sad. It seems to be the Duncan style To cheer and make you glad. 10. The winter of 1933 brought with i t a renewal of unemployment, but not to anything like the extent of the previous year. In large part i t was merely the seasonal lay-off i n the lumber i n -dustry. However, sufficient orders were now on hand to keep the mills of a number of the companies operating throughout the winter. With conditions steadily improving, those men who are s t i l l on r e l i e f felt, that they were entitled to a higher rate of pay, and i n December they petitioned the North Cowiohan council for a 16. wage scale of $2.80 per day instead of the present $2.00. * The council f e l t , however, that they could not raise the scale while the local mills were giving only from 170 to 250 per hour. They foresaw men leaving the mills to come back on r e l i e f . December, 1933, also brought with i t recognition of the fact that, once again, several families i n the d i s t r i c t would only have the bare necessities of l i f e at Christmas time. The Cowichan Christmas Cheer Committee was organized to appeal for donations in either cash or kind. With improved conditions i n many homes i n the area, the response was good, and over ninety-five hampers were distributed among the valley's needy families. For the f i r s t time i n many years the looal o f f i c i a l s were able to introduce a note of optimism i n their annual New Year's Messages. Hugh Savage, in keeping with his Oxford Group theories, once again placed the onus for the depression on the people them-selves and challenged them to do something about i t . 15. The Cowiohan Leader. August 31, 1933, p.4. 16. Ibid.. December 7, 1933, p . l . 116 Since the depression began, most of us have been poor i n courage. It i s , at bottom, fear which i s retard-ing world progress, our own progress. Think that over. Then cast out fear! ... The depression CAN be beaten. There i s a way out. Each of us can take that t r a i l with oheefulness and confidence. ... Hopes that come with 1933 have begun to be real-ized. Conditions are improving, many less men are out of work, mental misery is being replaced with the seeds of otpimism, we view the Star with added fa i t h . By the beginning of 1934 conditions were once again improv-ing rapidly. Prosperity, which had seemingly been "just around the corner" ever since 1930, was at last beginning to reveal i t s e l f . There were two principal reasons for this rapid recov-ery i n the Cowiehan area: f i r s t l y , the increased value of the pound sterling was adding considerably to the l i f e - s t y l e of the many families liv i n g on fixed incomes in the valley; and second-ly, the reopening of the woods and mills had provided immediate employment for those hundreds who had been eking out an existence on the paltry r e l i e f cheques. The Municipality of North Cowiehan found i t s e l f i n a posit-ion by 1934, where i t was deemed possible to reduce taxes. It was hoped that such a move would help to relieve the heavy burd-en which had been thrust upon the community's farmers. The Muni-cipality was, to a large extent, dependent upon the farming pop-ulation, and through the early thirties the farmers had barely been able to save enough money to meet the interest on mortages, or to pay taxes, and now that the recovery had begun they alone remained outside of that group which was reaping the benefits. 17. The Cowiehan Leader, December 28, 1933, p.4. 117 Despite the loss of revenue which had been experienced dur-ing the depression, the Municipality of North Cowichan was i n a much better financial oondition than many others i n British Col-umbia. This fact was attributable to the tight control which had been maintained over expenditures during the period. The financial statement for 1933 showed a surplus of $5,300. Income and expenditure had followed very closely the figures which had been budgeted for at the beginning of the year. When making up the budget early in 1933, the councillors had been faced with a very serious situation. The mills had a l l been closed and the municipality had had the maximum number of men on r e l i e f . During the ensuing year the municipality had paid out $18,000 i n r e l i e f funds and had received $10,900 from the senior governments, leav-ing a net amount of$7,100 to be paid from current taxation. The original debt on roads, $35,000, and on schools, $33,550, was covered to the extent of $33,550 by sinking funds, $B8,114 in bonds and $5,436 in cash, thereby leaving a total net municipal debt of only $6,150.18* Lumber exports were higher i n 1933 than they had been for many years. Shipments from the Cowichan area totalled nearly 100,000,000 feet, or a l i t t l e more than one-seventh of a l l the 19 lumber exported from the province. The Victoria Lumber and Manufacturing m i l l at Chemainus was able to report a large in-crease in exports to the United Kingdom and China during the year. From A p r i l to December, 151 deep-sea vessels had loaded at 18. The Cowichan Leader. January 11, 1934, p . l . 19. Ibid., February 8, 1934, p . l . 118 Chemainus, where docking f a c i l i t i e s had been enlarged to allow for the loading of two ships at once. The improvement i n the ex-port trade i s obvious when one compares the Chemainus port f i g -ures from 1928 to 1933. It was indeed unfortunate that just as conditions i n the lum-ber industry were showing such marked improvement, and the worst of the depression seemed to be over in the Cowiehan Valley, that a new menace appeared on the scene which threatened to thrust the community back to the desperate economic straits of 1932. The problem stemmed from a group of well organized labour agitators who had i n f i l t r a t e d the province's lumber camps and mills. These so-called "advanced-thinkers" were members of the Lumber Workers Industrial Union, a body formed in 1928 by a group of young Comm-unist agitators. In her book, Tough Timber, Mrs. Myrtle Bergren, wife of one of these men "who helped organize a woodworkers' union in British Columbia", contends that they only had the inter-ests of the loggers at heart. However, their motives w i l l be more clearly understood when i t i s explained that their "union1' had i t s offices at the same address in Vancouver as did the Yforkers' Unity League; indeed, many of them were active in both organizat-ions. This fact also gives new significance to the slogan of the National Unemployed Workers Association, used earlier i n the 1928 1929 1930 1931 1932 1933 59,995,000 f t . B.M. 83,000,000 f t . B.M. 68,948,000 f t . B.M. 64,333,000 f t . B.M. 86,733,844 f t . B.M. 99,418,000 f t . B.M. 20. 2(S. The Cowiehan Leader, February 8, 1934, p . l . 119 depression: Join the N.U.W.A., a f f i l i a t e d to the Workers* Unity League (Canadian Section of the Red International or Labour Unions) ... Forward to a programme of militant struggle against capitalism. ... Rally to the banner of the revolutionary unions. The Lumber Workers Industrial Union, taking f u l l advantage of conditions which had developed during the depression, sought to break down employer- employee relations, to create unrest and dissatisfaction, and to curtail production in the British Colum-bia forest industry. Far from having the interests of the men at heart, i t would appear that this "revolutionary union'* was being directed to stop the shipment of coastal lumber to Britain i n the hope that Russia might once again be able to gain control of that huge market. Throughout 1932 and 1933 these men "walked long distances in-to the camps contacting the loggers without knowledge of the boss, talking to the men, giving them ideas of other men, learning from them, so that together they might one day act coneertedly to 22 change the poor conditions of l i f e under which they lived." The union's men emphasized the conditions which had grown up during the depression. They pointed to the mass unemployment in the province and suggested that the "boss loggers" were taking advantage of conditions to continue wage cuts and indiscriminate f i r i n g s . Outside some logging camp in a clearing he would stand, where only the trees and the rugged loggers could hear, away from the management's ears, he would speak, his hands speaking too, his eye's meeting theirs. 21. The Cowichan Leader. September 17, 1931, p . l . 22. Bergren, Myrtle, Tough Timber. Progress Books, Toronto 1966, p.31. ' 120 "Loggers are second class citizens. You are a skid-road bum'. You don't get enough pay to l i v e like hum-ans, they treat us.like animals. Sure, they let you go to town, hut they'll he back they say, they'll get broke! And on the boats, they don't let you s i t where other people s i t . You can't s i t here! We say we paid as much as anyone else and we can s i t where we l i k e ! And who built these cities? Who built these mills? As long as we allow them, the people who own these lumber camps w i l l get away with i t , 'They have to de-pend on us', they say, 'They'll always follow the camps.* We don't have any choice boys, we have to or-g a n i z e ! " ^ The agitators were well aware of the principal complaints registered by the loggers against the camp system i n the British Columbia lumber industry. For many months of each year the men were cut off from the outside world. There was a feeling that the job could never be l e f t behind. Sinoe the company owned and controlled everything i n the camp, "the boss" was a l l pervasive. This often created the suspicion that the employer could and did apply extra sanctions against recalcitrant employees. In most camps there was a complete lack of social or recreational activ-i t y . But where such activity did exist there was simply a trans-f e r a l of the organizational hierarchy of the company staff into the social and p o l i t i c a l structure of the camp. This led to the feeling that the worker was expected to "know his plaee" and "not step out of lin e " . For these reasons, the camp loggers were in the habit of making for the big city and the bright lights for a real "bust-up" each time they had a holiday. Over the years the loggers acquired for themselves a certain degree of notoriety with re-spect to excessive drinking, frequent brawling, and other forms 23. Bergren, Myrtle, Tough Timber. Progress Books, Toronto, 1966, p.32. 121 of anti-social behaviour i n the skid-road section of Vancouver. Large numbers of loggers patronized the skid-road d i s t r i c t in a vain attempt to blot out the memory of the long months of lone-liness and boredom they had experienced i n the bush. The Christmas-New Year break of 1933 gave the executive of the L.W.I.U. a good opportunity to spread their influence among the many loggers who were i n Vancouver enjoying their f i r s t h o l i -day with pay in three years. The union members formed themselves into squads and went down on skid-road and persuaded*' many of the loggers, who were by this time broke and hung-over, to attend grievance meetings. At these meetings the union agitators har-angued the men about the - conditions1' in the industry. Wages were not based upon a b i l i t y of the industry to pay, but upon the whim of the employer. No effort was being made to prevent the increas-ing number of accidents in the woods. "In other words,** they concluded, "a man working i n these camps, in the logging undustry, 24 you are not a man at a l l - you are a serf!* 1 So i t was that when the men trekked back to work following the holiday, they were nursing a carefully developed grudge against their employers. The result was soon forthcoming. Early in Janu-ary, Camps 3 and 4 of the Bloedel Company in the Alberni Valley struck for an overall f i f t e e n percent wage increase, the $3.20 a day minimum, recognition of union camp committees, and an end to Sunday work. Within a few weeks most of the camps north of Ghem-ainus were out. The f i r s t direct effect of the logging strike was f e l t i n 24. Bergren, Myrtle, Tough Timber, Progress Books, Toronto, 1966, p.34. 122 Cowiehan when Camp 10, of the Victoria Lumber and Manufacturing Company, at Lake Cowiehan was closed down by the company. The reason given for this move was that the company intended to await a general settlement of the wage question on the Island. About 150 men were affected at Camp 10, but i f a settlement was not reached within two or three weeks, stoppage of the Chemainus m i l l 25. would affect some 500 more. The up-Island operators made a representation to the Provin-c i a l Department of Labour to settle the dispute, and Adam Bell , Deputy Minister of Labour, was appointed as intermediary. He drew up a proposed wage scale of $4.13 a day as against the rate of $4.80 which had prevailed in 1928. The a b i l i t y of the compan-ies to pay the increased wages depended i n the f i n a l analysis up-on the price obtainable for the product. An industrial group, especially one with such huge carrying costs as logging, must regulate i t s payrolls in proportion to the return upon i t s invest-ment. The reduction i n average log prices from 1928 to 1933 was thirty-three percent, and to the end of February, 1934, was 26. twenty-four percent. When logging companies agree to the average wage scale $4.13 proposed by Mr. Bell as against the rate of $4.80 prevailing in 1928, i t w i l l be agreed that their aetion, while generous to the employees i s de-cidedly uneconomic as far as their own interests are concerned. In their own words, "the companies aocept the wage scale and conditions proposed by the Department of Labour as a basis of settlement but realize that un-less better conditions in respect to lumber values materialize, the concessions granted w i l l simply add to the present operating losses. " 2 7 # 25. The Cowiehan Leader, March 22, 1934, p . l . 26. B. C. Lumberman, Vol. 18, March, 1934, p.11. 27. Loo, c i t . 123 The following table compares the logging camp wages of 1928 with those being paid at the date of the strike, and with the scale proposed"by B e l l : 1928 Date of Strike Scale Proposed Minimum 3.20 2.20 2.75 Maximum 9.00 6.00 6.50 Average 4.80 3.79 4.13 After having been reluctantly accepted by the operators, the Bell proposals were rejected almost unanimously by the strikers. At this point the operators withdrew their approval of the camp union committees, claiming that the union was run by Communists whose only interest was in crippling the lumber industry in Br i t -ish Columbia. The operators were also annoyed by the behaviour of outsiders who were apparently endeavouring to widen the breach between emp-loyers and employed. Most notable was the action of the Mayor of Vancouver, whose description of the existing wage scale as a "racket", and whose setting of the precedent in authorizing public assistance to the strikers in the form of a tag-day, called forth a severe rebuke i n the British Columbia Lumberman, the publication of the British Columbia Loggers* Association: His worship's easy acceptance of the absurd statements concerning the present price of logs and rate of profit made by the operators was extremely foolish, for the true facts were so easily obtainable. ... The utter insanity of the declaration that the logging operators are making 480% profit at current prices i s evident when one considers that i n the banner year of 1928 the best logging companies could do was a profit of 5% on actual net investment. ... In his public position of "Mayor of Vancouver", Mr. Taylor has consented to a tag-day in aid of the strik-ers provided they dan prove their "complete disassoci-ation from communism". It would appear that his Wor-124 ship i s no better informed regarding the nature of the power behind the s t r i k e than he i s concerning the p r i c e of logs ... f o r we are advised that the Lumber Workers I n d u s t r i a l Union di r e c t i n g the s t r i k e i s of undisputed Communistic o r i g i n . We are not at a l l i n the habit of ascribing any and every revolutionary a c t i v i t y to the money and machinations of Moscow, but here i s an i n -stance i n view of our. increasing export trade, where Russia has something to gain and where the expenditure of a few thousand d o l l a r s would cert a i n l y appear to be j u s t i f i e d from the Soviet point of view. The timing of the s t r i k e was, so f a r as the men were concern-ed, unfortunate, considering that the lumber industry was only just beginning to o f f e r employment afte r the most disastrous de-pression i t had ever experienced. For the logger the road had been long, the work hard, and the remuneration scanty. Every sym-pathy was held out to the worker, p a r t i c u l a r l y to those to whom the l a s t few years had been a desperate struggle to keep home and k i n together i n a land where peace and plenty should have abounded. But f o r the people of B r i t i s h Columbia to permit communistic con-t r o l of t h e i r main industry was unthinkable. The continued re-f u s a l of the s t r i k e r s to accept the suggested government rates only served to alienate them and th e i r union from the sympathy of the overwhelming majority of the public. The huge market of the United Kingdom was just beginning to take B r i t i s h Columbia lumber i n very large quantities, and sales there could only be maintained on a p r i c e and service basis against B a l t i c and Soviet competition. To jeopardize that imp-ortant market, which was seemingly the aim of the union, would mean suicide for both employer and employee. As the s t r i k e continued to stop a l l logging operations on 28. B. C. Lumberman. V o l . 18, March, 1934, p.11. 125 the northern portion of Vancouver Island, the Cowiehan area was able to reap the benefits. The appeals by the union leaders for Cowiehan loggers to come out i n sympathy with the r e s t of the loggers on the Island had had sing u l a r l y l i t t l e e f f e c t i n the is o l a t e d v a l l e y . Very l i t t l e preliminary "softening up" had been done i n the Cowiohan area i n the months preceding the s t r i k e , as the union had concentrated i t s e f f o r t s i n the more northerly A l -berni v a l l e y . In addition, there was a sense of community s o l i d -a r i t y i n the Cowiehan Valley which was missing i n many other log-ging areas i n the province. For while the camps around Lake Cow-iehan contained many young, single loggers who might have suppor-ted the s t r i k e , they also contained a large number of married men who commuted to work each day from homes i n the more urban centres i n the v a l l e y . The moderating influence of these men, combined with the very good employer-employee r e l a t i o n s that existed i n the l o c a l industry helped to snuff out any unrest that might have dev-eloped. With a l l up-Island camps on s t r i k e , the demand for logs at coastal m i l l s increased r a p i d l y . In the month of March, f i v e new logging operations were started i n the area west of Duncan. Nine trucks began dumping over a thousand d o l l a r s worth of logs a day 29 into Cowiehan Bay f o r shipment to up-Island m i l l s . * Early i n A p r i l the Leader was able to report that the lumber industry was running "at f u l l b l a s t " . In consequence, the Municipality of North Cowiehan found that among the features of the debit side of th e i r budget was a reduction by some $4,500 i n the 1934 r e l i e f 29. The Cowiehan Leader, A p r i l 5, 1934, p . l . 126 30. estimates compared to the previous year. Meanwhile, group by group, the up-Island loggers were grad-ually becoming disillusioned as to the rea l objective of the 'strike' leaders, whose motives were not so much the material betterment of the workers, as the establishment of machinery for creating a continuous atmosphere of misunderstanding between the employers and their crews. Disillusionment with the 'union; con-tinued to grow: The organizers came from God knows where; only a few camps were affected; in cases where men did "down tools" i t was by a small majority; the assistance of the government after being sought by the "strike" com-mittee was disregarded, and the sympathy of the public with the "strikers" temporarily gained by an appalling misrepresentation of actual facts, has now been alien-ated. To designate such a succession of happenings as a "strike" i s to over estimate i t s quality and over-rate i t s origins... 31» During the latter part of the strike, the union tried drag-ging in side-issues concerning the quality of board and commiss-ary arrangements i n the camps, but this argument was completely unjust. As early as 1929, the Provincial Board of Health had re-ported that the food supplied at the camps in B r i t i s h Columbia was equal to that found i n hotels, and the sleeping accommodation 32 superior to the average city lodging house. * There was not a logger who would deny that i t would cost him twice as much to provide for himself food as good, and lodging as clean, as the logging companies procured for him. Eegarding the request of the union to be able to set up camp 30. The Cowiohan Leader, A p r i l 12, 1934, p . l . 31. B. C. Lumberman. Vol. 18, May, 1934, p.9. 32. British Columbia Provincial Board of Health, 34th Report  for 1929, King's Printer, Victoria. 1929. 6.R14. 127 committees, the British Columbia Lumberman, speaking for the op-erators, replied: The operators have given their pledge that there w i l l be no descrimination against any competent workers. They also express their willingness to meet at any time a bona fide delegation of their own employees who wish to bring any matter to their attention, but they quite rightly refuse to recognize alien disturbers of good re-lations of the type of those who have engineered the present trouble at a cost to the people of the province of over two million dollars. It i s a sad reflection i n the midst of our strenuous endeavours to emerge from the depression that has spread so much poverty and hardship around, that the loss of this huge sum should have been tolerated i n order to advertise the claims of a self-serving bunch of extremists to a place in the executives of our logging companies, for i n plain English their ambitions in this direction have been the cause of a l l the trouble._ The strike was f i n a l l y brought to a close i n Ap r i l , 1934, when the government's Industrial Relations Board brought down a report establishing new minimum wages in the forest industry. The orders, which took affect on A p r i l 26, provided for marked in-creases in rates to be paid log-producing and sawmill employees. The logging order provided for a minimum of 400 an hour for log producing operations; 37£0 an hour for track and grade men; and $2.75 per day for cooks and bunkhouse employees. The sawmill order set a minimum wage of 350 an hour; with the contingent pro-vision that one-quarter of the employees of any m i l l might be paid 250 an hour during present conditions. While the logging companies i n Cowichan were not affected by the strike, they were required to comply with the settlement. Hillcrest Lumber immediately notifed i t s employees that i t would be forced to close on A p r i l 26, the date the new wage scale was 33. B. C. Lumberman, Vol. 18, March, 1934, p.9. 128 to come into effect. The Shawnigan Lake Company also f e l t that i t would be necessary to close down their operations. Kapoor Singh, manager of the Mayo Lumber Company, reported to the Leader: "It w i l l be impossible for us to continue our operations i f the 34 Minimum Wage Act i s enforced." * North Cowiohan Council, the City of Duncan, and the Duncan Chamber of Commerce each notified the government of the serious situation that would ensue upon closure of the mills. The latter two groups urged the government to investigate the financial con-dition of the Hillcrest and Shawnigan mills, with a view to ascer-taining i f they could operate under the new wage scale, while the North Cowiehan resolution oonoluded with the warning that "Any further r e l i e f , which may be demanded in consequence of the clos-ing of the mills w i l l have to be provided for wholly by the Gov-ernment." 3 5 , The Hon. George S. Pearson, Minister of Labour, assured the local bodies that his department was having the matter investigat-ed by a sawmill expert, and that i f i t was found impossible to pay such a wage, steps would be taken to prevent closure of the mills. He concluded: "It seems a pity that a m i l l of the importance of Hillcrest has to close down because i t cannot pay what i s unquest-36. ionably a very moderate wage." When the deadline for adopting the new minimum wage scale arrived, the majority of those mills which had announced that they would have to close, did not do so. In fact, in many cases lumber 34. The Cowiehan Leader. A p r i l 26, 1934, p . l . 35. Loo? c i t . 36. Loc. c i t . 129 production and employment increased. Despite the wage increase, the Industrial Timber Mills at Youbou expanded their operations by almost one-quarter; while a large, new camp called the Lake Logging Company, began operations in A p r i l paying the minimum i 37. scale. Hillcrest was an exception however. On May 31, they closed their logging camps and sawmill, "owing to the impossible position brought about by the Minimum Wage Act", thereby throwing 450 men out of work. Kapoor Singh kept the Mayo m i l l open, but said that 38. continued operation would be at a loss. This unhappy situation was not long-lived however, as improved market conditions allowed for the reopening of the Hillcrest plant early i n June. In that same month the Evans Brothers* m i l l on Mount Prevost resumed op-erations after a four year shutdown. With the rapid increase in employment in 1934, r e l i e f was not nearly the problem that i t had once been in Cowichan. The City of Duncan had not found i t necessary to maintain a r e l i e f scheme since July, 1933. The Municipality of North Cowichan was s t i l l caring for a .number of unemployed however, particularly small farmers who were s t i l l not able to make an income from their lands and who either could not or would not take employment in the local forest industry. In an effort to cut down the size of this group, a stricter investigation of the applicants' c i r -cumstances was adopted in August, 1934. A l l those desiring re-l i e f had to re-register. This registration included special 37. The Cowichan Leader, May 10, 1934, p . l . 38. Loc. c i t . 130 forms for farmers and transients. The farmers were required to give information regarding crops, markets, li v e - s t o c k , machinery and other d e t a i l s i n an e f f o r t to determine to what extent they might l i v e o f f t h e i r own farms. R e l i e f rates were also reduced to a hare minimum i n an e f f o r t to encourage the men to seek em-ployment elsewhere. For, on the whole, r e l i e f demands upon the Municipality had neither increased nor decreased for some time. The r e c i p i e n t s included 157 married men, resident i n the munici-p a l i t y ; 19 si n g l e men; and four single women, for a t o t a l of 222. Government assistance to the municipality amounted to 66^$ for the married men and single women, and 100$ for the transients and 39 single men. The people of Cowiehan were well enough on t h e i r feet i n 1934 to be able to send a railway-car f u l l of clothing and food-s t u f f s to the drought-stricken area of southern Saskatchewan. The only setback experienced during the year occurred i n December, when the Mayo Lumber m i l l was destroyed by f i r e , throwing 125 men out of work. An otherwise steady year i n the lumber industry had permitted the accumulation of a small surplus i n many homes i n the area, s u f f i c i e n t to make the difference between a poor and a good Christmas. During the season sales were up 25$ to 30$ over 1933, and extras, such as radios, gas lamps and Christmas tree l i g h t s were becoming increasingly popular. The building trade had remained quiet during 1934, but that was perhaps to be expected, as i t i s usually the l a s t business to recover following a depression. Lumbering had experienced i t s problems during the aftermath of the s t r i k e , but both wages and 39. The Cowiehan Leader, August 2, 1934, p . l . 131 prices had gradually strengthened to give a record of steadily increasing employment and output. When figures were released for the Port of Chemainus, i t was found that the amount, 135, 241,000 feet, was the largest for many years, i f not a record. It was more than one-third better than the 1933 figure of 99, 418,000 feet, and the Chemainus export figure did not include shipments by r a i l to Victoria, which were estimated to be 1,000, 000 feet. Unfortunately agriculture was not making the rapid recovery which was being enjoyed i n the lumber industry. The farm income in 1934 had not been large enough to warrant capital expenditure by the farmers of the area, and the apparent result was that, instead of improving, conditions on local farms were going down-hill. The Municipality of North Cowichan had come through the year with a budget surplus of |l,332. Total r e l i e f costs for the year had been $13,533, of which fl0,090 had been repaid by the senior governments. The reeve congratulated residents on the way i n which they had worked out their r e l i e f money when not legally bound to do so. Warning that there would be extra r e l i e f costs in the future due to a provincial government order to increase r e l i e f rates to 400 an hour, and because of an extra grant of |20 to be given to each expectant mother on r e l i e f , Tisdall concluded: "I am afraid the r e l i e f problem i s s t i l l with us and w i l l be with 40 us forever." Two important projects aimed at curtailing the crippling 40. The Cowiohan Leader. January 17, 1935, p . l . 132 malady of unemployment, particularly as i t applied to young people, were instigated i n the Cowichan area i n 1935. The f i r s t of these was begun by the provincial government and followed a plan which had been outlined i n a legislative speech by Hugh Savage. Point-ing out that there were i n Br i t i s h Columbia more than 2,000 youths between the ages of seventeen and twenty-two on r e l i e f and 2,500 more of the same age in r e l i e f camps, he suggested that the govern-ment i n i t i a t e a series of forestry training camps to prepare these 41 young men for employment i n British Columbia's lumber industry. This plan, being practical in application, economical in operation, and beneficial i n rehabilitation, was quickly taken up by the gov-ernment . On May 15, $90,000 was allotted by the Department of Labour to the B r i t i s h Columbia Forest Service for the employment of single, young men in useful work, with the objective of helping 42. f i t them for jobs in the forest industry. Preference was given to men between the ages of twenty-one and twenty-five who needed work, who had been resident in the province for ten years, and who possessed at least a partial high-school education, It was hoped that the training would help the young men regain their lost self-confidence, while preparing them for a career i n the forests of British Columbia. Far too many of the province's youth were searching for work in the c i t i e s and urban areas while neglecting the opportunities offered in the basic rural industries. fThe forestry programme offered them useful work under conditions that must benefit them physically and mentally, leaving them self-41. The Cowichan Leader. February 21, 1935, p . l . 42. "British Columbia Forest Service Young Men's Forestry 133 reliant and with a saner outlook toward the future. Here they could gain experience i n various kinds of construction, learn how to clear land, build t r a i l s and handle an axe. The programme was also balanced with suitable periods of instruction and re-creation to assist i n the rehabilitation of the youths. By May, 1935, one of the forestry camps had been set up at Lake Cowiehan, with young men arriving from the City of Vancouver to take the course. Within a short time the camp was winning the praise of local citizens and government o f f i c i a l s . It was com-prised of twenty-eight tents, occupied by fifty-four men. Good food was provided and the general atmosphere of the camp was one of cleanliness, neatness and congeniality. Apart from their work the young men took elementary courses i n surveying, f i r e protect-ion, dendrology, ecology, and woodcraft from Professor Khapp, of the Forestry Faculty at the University of British Columbia. The camp was reportedly the best conducted in the province, thanks to the understanding between C. Schultz, the superintendent, and the 43 men. * In a l l , ninety men passed through the Lake Cowiehan for-estry camp i n 1935. By the end of the season perhaps the most encouraging feature of the whole scheme was the splendid cooper-ation extended by the local logging and milling concerns as they readily gave employment to the trainees upon completion of the course. It soon appeared that the d i f f i c u l t y would not be in finding positions for the men, but in developing enough men who would be suitable for the positions which were available. Training Plan", September, 1935, M.S., Government Publications,,U.B.C., p.2. 43. The Cowiehan Leader. September 26, 1935, p . l . 134 The second experiment to take shape i n 1935, created a good deal of interest i n the Cowiehan Valley, particularly among the farmers. In February i t was announced that the 1,000 acre Pem-berton farm, situated on the Koksilah River, had been sold to a group in England who planned to establish a Fairbridge Farm School on the si t e . The school, sponsored by the Child Emigration Soc-iety of Great Britain, was to be patterned on the several schools which had been set up in various parts of the world by Kingsley Fairbridge, a young Rhodesian Rhodes scholar. The project would introduce into the valley an undertaking founded upon the practi-cal training for youth i n farming. This would be, as the Leader saw i t , possibly the most important step along the lines of settle-ment i n the history of the Cowiehan d i s t r i c t . For, as the under-taking progressed from an i n i t i a l introduction of forty children, until i t was in f u l l operation with some four hundred boys and g i r l s i n residence, i t was bound to be of ever increasing value to the community and to the province. Certainly i t would be a great asset to the d i s t r i c t i f only in the advertising i t would bring with i t . A Fairbridge school in Australia had handled over 1,000 boys and g i r l s , mostly orphans, and of these, only three had been returned as misfits. The advantages to the farming community were of particular importance: It i s generally admitted that youth, brought up on farms, is not desirous of going in for a farm career, and that, despite the present condition of unemploy-ment, farmers do not find i t easy to get efficient -mark that word "efficient" - farm labour. It i s an even more incontrovertible fact that efficient domes-t i c servants are very d i f f i c u l t to obtain, ... The Fairbridge Farm School have as their chief objective the training, from the ground up, of efficient farm youths and domestic servants.44, 4 4 . The Cowiehan Leader, Ap r i l 4 , 1935, p.4. 135 Twenty cottages were erected f o r the youngsters, a school, a dining h a l l , and a house f o r the superintendent, Major W. F. Trew. The month of September saw the a r r i v a l of the f i r s t f o r t y -one children at the s i t e . The twenty-seven boys and fourteen g i r l s were soon attending classes i n the school, where, i n addit-ion to regular subjects, they were to take manual t r a i n i n g and domestic science. When older they would also take specialized courses i n agriculture and household a r t s . Promoters of the scheme pointed out that i t would be at lea s t f i v e years before any of the youngsters would be old enough to compete i n the Canadian labour market; that they would sta r t t h e i r l i f e out i n Cowichan so young that they would grow up with the country; and that by the time they were old enough to make a st a r t away from the farm-school, general conditions would probably have improved g r e a t l y . The year 1935 was not without i t s labour problems. The trouble once, again stemmed from Communist i n f i l t r a t i o n of unions; t h i s time i t was the longshoremen's union. Having f a i l e d to halt production of lumber f o r the B r i t i s h market i n 1934, they seemed bent upon blocking i t s shipment i n 1935. On June 27, the long-shoremen i n the port of Chemainus struck i n sympathy with their Vancouver union, which had been seeking recognition from the B r i t i s h Columbia Shipping Federation. The Federation had "locked out" the union a f t e r having refused to negotiate with i t . Be-cause almost a hundred percent of the lumber products produced i n the Cowichan Valley were shipped out through Chemainus, the s t r i k e 136 had an immediate p a r a l y t i c e f f e c t on the entire l o c a l industry. Within days the operations of the V.L. & M., Camps 10 and 8 at Lake Cowichan, and of the sawmill and planing m i l l i n Chemainus were at a s t a n d s t i l l . Soon more than 1,200 men were out of work i n the d i s t r i c t , and were coming to the municipal authorities 45 seeking r e l i e f . The s i t u a t i o n was indeed serious. Fortunately for the people of Cowichan, the stoppage i n load-ing at Chemainus was r e l a t i v e l y s h o r t - l i v e d . The longshoremen were persuaded to load deep-sea vessels, and while the s t r i k e went on at larger p r o v i n c i a l centres, the l o c a l m i l l s were able to re-commence operations. Some of the l o c a l longshoremen continued to picket c e r t a i n ships however, and i n September, when i t was learned that twelve of these men were receiving r e l i e f from the Municipal-i t y of North Cowichan, the reeve ordered that "no picketing must 46. be done by r e l i e f r e c i p i e n t s . " The federal e l e c t i o n of 1935 gave to the Nanaimo r i d i n g , of which Cowichan was a part, t h e i r f i r s t S o c i a l i s t representative. This marked quite a change for a constituency which had been Con-servative since 1981. The v i c t o r , James Samuel Taylor, of Van-couver, was a leader i n the organization of the C.C.F. i n the prov-ince. At the time of h i s election, the sixty-three year old bach-elor was secretary of the Commonwealth P r i n t i n g and Publishing Company, which printed the C.C.F. party organ. He received 35% 47 of the t o t a l vote cast. * In the Nanaimo and Newcastle region, to the north of Cowichan he had t a l l i e d 46% of the votes; i n 45. The Cowichan Leader. June 27, 1935, p . l . 46. I b i d . , September 12, 1935, p i . 4 7 • Ibid.. October 17, 1935, p . l . , with 78% of the voters 137 Saanich, to the south, he came i n second with 32$ of the b a l l o t s ; while he placed t h i r d i n Cowiehan, Bsquimalt, and the Gulf Islands, those areas which contained the largest number of farmers i n the constituency. The incumbent, C. H. Dickie, a native of Duncan, and Conser-vative member for the past fourteen years, s t i l l headed the p o l l s i n Cowiehan and Saanich and i n the Islands. He was defeated i n Nanaimo and Newcastle where the depression was s t i l l causing a good deal of hardship, where unemployment was s t i l l serious, and where left-wing arguments appealed strongly to communities which had a long history of labour unrest a r i s i n g out of the coal-mining industry. Alan Chambers, the L i b e r a l candidate, had clos e l y followed Dickie i n the Islands and Esquimalt, was second i n Cowiehan and t h i r d i n Saanich. Aubrey M. Clark, a l a s t minute Reconstruction-i s t entrant, had f a l l e n so f a r behind the other candidates that he l o s t h i s $200 deposit. Despite the depression and the many f a i l i n g s of the Bennett government, Dickie had l o s t the e l e c t i o n by les s than 600 votes. The s p l i t of the vote between the Conservative and the L i b e r a l p a r t i e s i n the southern portion of the constituency had allowed the C.CF. to win out i n t h i s usually Conservative r i d i n g . Seasonal unemployment during the winter of 1935 brought with i t a new r e l i e f payments scheme from Ottawa. An increase was to go into e f f e c t , but the grants were only to be given on the con-d i t i o n that no r a c i a l d i s t i n c t i o n be made. This was something of turning out to the p o l l s , the r e s u l t s were as follows: Taylor - C.CF. 6,840 35$ of t o t a l vote. Dickie - Cons. 6,277 32$ of t o t a l vote. Chambers - L i b . 6,101 30$ of t o t a l vote. Clarke - Reeons. 515 3$ of t o t a l vote. 138 a bitter p i l l for some of the people in Cowichan to swallow. For throughout the depression there had been a wide discrepancy be-tween the rates paid to Orientals and those paid to the whites. Chinese were receiving r e l i e f from the Municipality at the rate of 150 a day. Oriental families were cared for on the monthly basis of $5 for the f i r s t adult, and $1.50 for each dependent, plus 50% of the to t a l . White residents, on the other hand, re-ceived $9 for the f i r s t adult, $3.50 for the second, and $2.50 for each dependent, plus 50% of the total. It had been found some time earlier that Oriental families on r e l i e f averaged 6.21 persons per family, and white families 4.7 persons. There were in December, 1935, three Oriental families on r e l i e f , with eighteen dependents; and nine single Chinese males, while there were f i f t y -48 seven white families s t i l l accepting r e l i e f payments. * Prior to the depression many of these Chinese had been employed by the British "gentlemen farmers" either as houseboys or labourers, but with the devaluation of the pound sterling many of these 'gentle-men' had found i t necessary to economize and the servants had been released. The year 1935 was by far the best that Cowichan had experi-enced since 1929. Not so much because of great financial gain, nor because of enormous industrial development, but because, over-shadowing a l l , confidence had been reborn in the hearts and minds of the people. The area had experienced good all-round development, fluctuating of course, but with a general trend ahead. Business had been better and unemployment had been reduced almost to the 48. The Cowichan Leader. December 26, 1935, p . l . 139 vanishing point. Agriculture was not yet f u l l y recovered, hut quite definite improvement was evident in many of i t s branches. It s t i l l needed to receive more consideration however. Individual financial returns might s t i l l seem a l l too meag-er, but these too were steadily increasing. Early in January, 1935, both the V.L. & M. Company and the Hillcrest Lumber Company announced general increases i n wages to employees, retroactive 49. to January 1. The effects of the previous year's longshoremen's strike were apparent when the 1935 lumber exports were totalled. There was a reduction of 41,000,000 feet over 1934. The burning of the Mayo M i l l was also a factor, but the main decrease in shipments 50. coincided with the dates of the strike. Councillor D. D. Chapman, Chairman of the Finance Committee for the Municipality of North Cowiehan, reported that the Muni-cipality had begun the year with a surplus of f1,342 and ended with one of |2,010, which would have been much larger but for the 49. The Cowiehan Leader, January 16, 1936, p . l . 50. Ibid., January 23, 1936, The following figures represent the output of a l l the Cowiehan mills, with the exception of the Industrial Timber Mi l l s at Youbou and the small G. E. Well-burn m i l l at Deerholme, who shipped via the C.N.R. to Vic-toria: 1935 1934 January February March A p r i l May June July August September October November December 7,372,000 8,810,000 7,303,000 11,503,000 14,121,000 2,298,000 5,379,000 8,308,000 8,183,000 6,218,000 3,904,000 10,357,000 12,216,000 11,932,000 7,773,000 9,727,000 11,846,000 13,256,000 15,417,000 11,728,000 9,995,000 9,592,000 11,107,000 10,652,000 93,756,000 135,241,000 140 longshoremen's strike which threw a large number of men on r e l i e f for a time. Relief costs should be much lower in the future, however, as the municipality would only be required to meet 20% of the total r e l i e f costs. The senior governments had announced an increase i n their grant from 60% to -80%. A move was made early in 1936 to relieve the burden of taxes from the farmers of the Cowichan area. Taxes had increased dur-ing the depression to such an extent that the land could no long-er bear the burden. John Gibb, President of Dist r i c t A of the Farmers' Institutes, presented a brief i n this connection which drew a comparison between the gross sales and local taxes on a mixed farm in North Cowiohan from the early twenties through to 1935. Year Ending Gross Taxes Taxes to June Sales Paid Sales 1923 1, 730.66 328.71 19.0% 1924 2, 170.61 304.45 14.0 1925 2, 843.00 298.76 10.5 1926 3, 771.00 275.32 7.3 1927 2, 719.08 450.26 16.5 1928 3, 004.34 334.34 11.0 1929 3, 333.25 334.33 10.0 1930 3, 972.83 339.80 8.5 1931 2, 695.21 309.35 11.5 1932 1, 629.21 310.20 19.0 1933 1, 883.03 325.35 17.3 1934 2, 220.41 326.97 14.7 1935 1, 856.17 393.06 21.2 #33, 828.82 #4,330.90 12.8% When the expenses to be deducted i n the operation and maintenance of the farm are considered, the enormous proportion of taxes to 51. The Cowiohan Leader. January 16, 1936, p . l . 52. Ibid.. January 30, 1930, p.6. 141 net revenue can be visualized. In 1936, for the third year i n succession, Cowiehan*s re-covery from the depression was threatened by renewed labour agi-tation in the lumber industry. This time the problem was much closer to home, being centred in the Cowiehan Lake area. The Lake d i s t r i c t surrounded by mountains covered with heavy stands of high quality timber, was one of the most important logging areas on Vancouver Island, and, as such, had soon drawn the att-ention of the union organizers. Bert Flatt, a "pack-sack" organ-5! izer, had arrived i n July, 1934, as the f i r s t resident union man. His arrival marked the f i r s t step in a plan which had been set up by the executive of the Lumber Workers Industrial Union in Vancouver after the 1934 strike. Cowiehan had been the only large logging area not to support the strike in that year and in so do-ing had helped to f o i l the plans of the union to shut down the en-t i r e industry in British Columbia. It was clear to the executive of the union that they must work more effectively i n Cowiehan where "the intimidation of the employers dangerously threatened 54. to wipe out most of the gains the people had made.** The L.W.I.U. therefore set to work to have a number of their union men hired out to the new Lake Logging Company, where they f e l t there was a good possibility of setting up a camp committee. Their reasons for choosing this company were as follows: It was a new outfit, independent of the B. C. Loggers 53. Bergren, Myrtle, Tough Timber, p.60. 54. Loc. c i t . 142 Association. It was a big camp, employing about 300 men. They were situated inland at Lake Cowichan and to s e l l their logs they had to get them to tidewater. They had to handle their logs twice, a costly pro-cedure, bringing them down from the operations in the woods to Cowichan Lake, boom them there, then tow and reload them on railway cars, and ship them to tide-water on the E. & N. Railway. If they were to com-pete successfully with other outfits on tidewater, and make i t pay, they had to have an efficient crew and stable working conditions - in short, no labour troub-l e S-55. So i t was then, that the union's blacklisted militants, who could no longer find employment in any camps a f f i l i a t e d with the British Columbia Loggers Association, moved into the Lake Cowich-an area and set up a camp committee at the Lake Logging Company. Having gained this foothold, they planned to try to elect functioning camp committees in every logging camp in the area. However, the superintendents of the local camps were only too fam-i l i a r with the disrupting influence these Communists had had in the Alberni area in 1934, and wanted no part of their fledgling union. The organizers were denied the right to- form the committees and were dissuaded from either v i s i t i n g the camps or having their union paper, the B. C. Lumber Worker, distributed to the loggers. Late in 1935 the L.W.I.U. had opened negotiations with the American Federation of Labour, United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners, to join with them as a bloc, in the hope of strength-ening their own organization. As the date for a f f i l i a t i o n with the A.F. of L. approached, the organizers in the Cowichan area be-gan to step up their a c t i v i t i e s . Infiltrating the camps, they held meetings without the management's knowledge and secretly 55. Bergren, Myrtle, Tough Timber, p.60. 143 sold the union paper to the young loggers l i v i n g i n the area. Time and again the organizers were removed from company property and t h e i r l i t e r a t u r e was seized and destroyed. In March, 1936, two men were f i r e d from Camp 10 of the V.L. & M. Company, supposedly f o r s e l l i n g the B. C. Lumber Worker. The union saw t h e i r opportunity and decided to act. They contend-ed that the r e a l reason f o r the f i r i n g of the men was "the impend-ing move into the A.E. of L. and the demand for increased wages that was coming with i t . " 4 Myrtle Bergren' s Tough Timber suggests that the night a f t e r the f i r i n g , "Mack McKinnon, who was president of the L.W.I.U. at the time, and Hjalmer Bergren, the organizer, went into the camp and held a meeting. ... ' A l l those i n favor of s t r i k e action stand on t h i s side,* he (McKinnon) said. ' A l l those against, on that.' The crew of 130 men moved as one, and the s t r i k e was on. 57. I t was that f a s t . " I f Mrs. Bergren had not r e l i e d so heavily on her interviews with the f i v e men she claims organized the woodworkers' union i n B r i t i s h Columbia, and who are today a l l banned for l i f e from mem-bership i n the I.W.A. because of the "anti-Communist clause i n the constitution", she would have found that this account, l i k e so many others i n her book, does not give a very objective appraisal of the s i t u a t i o n . The s t r i k e b u l l e t i n which was released by the Executive Board of the L.W.I.U. stated that on Wednesday, March 4, a member of the camp committee of Camp 10 (V.L. & M.), Cowiehan Lake was f i r e d . 56. Bergren, Myrtle, Tough Timber, p.90 57. Ibid., p.91 144 This man had been active i n the move for a f f i l i a t i o n with the American Federation of Labour. Yftiat the b u l l e t i n did not mention was the f a c t that the man, as a member of an i l l e g a l camp comm-i t t e e , was breaking company regulations. Again on Saturday, March 7, a union member was f i r e d for s e l -l i n g the B. C. Lumber Worker. The b u l l e t i n suggested that t h i s organ had previously been sold i n Camp 10 without protest from the company. I t may have been sold by the l o c a l union organizer when he secretly v i s i t e d the camp, but not by a company employee. The b u l l e t i n went on to state that e f f o r t s to have the men reinstated had f a i l e d and that a meeting called for Monday night, March 9, was attended by 88 men who, a f t e r hearing f u l l p a r t i c u -l a r s from McKinnon and Bergren, voted unanimously i n favour of taking s t r i k e a c t i o n . I t should be pointed out that the union wisely took t h i s i n i t i a l s t r i k e vote i n the evening when they were only presenting t h e i r case to the young, s i n g l e men who l i v e d i n the i s o l a t e d camps. The married men, who commujlted each day from the v i l l a g e of Lake Cowichan, were not present. The same procedure was followed i n V.L. & M.'s camp 8. The f i r s t vote, c a l l e d on Monday evening and not attended by the marr-ied men, was 58 to 29 i n favour of s t r i k e action. A second vote, held on Tuesday morning, which included the married men, was 60 for the s t r i k e and 57 against i t . I t i s interesting to note that of the t h i r t y married men, only two were i n favour of s t r i k e action. One might even question i f a l l of these young men were that interested i n the p r i n c i p l e of union representation i n the camp. 145 I t seems to be extremely doubtful. Instead, i t would appear to be more probable that these young fellows, with three months of mon-otonous routine i n the iso l a t e d camps behind them since the Christ-mas break, saw a good opportunity to escape to Vancouver for a "bust-up". For no sooner had the vote been taken than most of them broke a l l records i n beating a t r a i l to Duncan to catch the f i r s t bus out. Only the union organizers remained behind at Lake Cowiehan to set up a picket camp. Indeed, with so few single men remaining i n the Lake Cowiehan area and with the married men not r e a l l y i n favour of the s t r i k e , i t was d i f f i c u l t for the union to f i n d s u f f i c i e n t pickets. Mrs. Bergren makes no mention of the mass exodus of the loggers to Vancouver, but she does mention that "no one could handle the pickets as well as Robert Berg and Danny Shipwright. Berg would go r i g h t i n the people's houses alone, but Shipwright would not only go alone; he would take a couple of men with him, and everyone was on the picket l i n e . " 5 8 . Hardly what one might c a l l enthusiastic support! When the editor of the Leader condemned the loggers f o r t h e i r hasty s t r i k e action without considering e i t h e r t h e i r dependents or others i n d i r e c t l y affected by the s t r i k e , William Sutherland, the Str i k e Committee chairman, r e p l i e d : Mr. Long, the superintendent, met the j o i n t s t r i k e committee from both the camps and refused to reinstate the two men or have anything to do with the committee. ... So i t can be seen by t h e i r action that any organ-i z a t i o n of loggers into a union of t h e i r own choice w i l l not be tolerated by the "Boss Loggers", or a pap-er be allowed to be sold openly. We a l l know trade unions are recognized by p r a c t i c a l l y 58. Bergren, Myrtle, Tough Timber, p.92. 146 a l l industries, but the "Boss Logger" must remain king of his domain with the right to discriminate and to devil with their legitimate right to join their own trade union and read their own union paper.^ While the young, transient loggers from Vancouver might i d -entify with the union in demanding these rights, the local Cowi-ehan loggers did not, in the main, share the union's opinions of the "boss logger". For they well remembered that many of the ow-ners had kept their mills operating, even at a loss, during the worst of the depression so that employment might be continued. And with recovery, these same operators had done their best to share the slowly increasing returns with their employees. It i s no wonder then that the support of the union was so weak. They were seeking neither increased wages nor better conditions for the loggers, for, in the main, the men employed i n the Cowiohan area were satisfied with things as they stood. The companies had given a voluntary wage increase only two months earlier, and, as has a l -ready been noted, the working conditions i n Cowiehan were probably the best in the industry. Union recognition then, was the only argument for striking, and not a few people were suspicious of this particular union's motivation. Captain J. D. Groves, a respected Cowiehan businessman, re-turning from England in A p r i l , warned that the loss of the British lumber market lay along the t r a i l of continued unrest and uncert-ainty in the lumber industry. People in England could not under-stand why British Columbia allowed foreign agitators to go around threatening to close the camps. Men in the Br i t i s h lumber trade 59. The Cowiehan Leader. March 26, 1936, p.4. 147 had the impression that Russia was using the agitators in a well-thought-out plan to disorganize the whole British Columbia lumber industry, both through the longshoremen and the lumber workers, so that she could s l i p into the breach and take the trade. 6 0* Late in March the L.W.I.U. had taken their vote regarding the proposed a f f i l i a t i o n with the A.F. of L., and the referendum had passed as 2,000 men registered their vote i n an industry 61 which employed 20,000. * Once the a f f i l i a t i o n was an accomplished fact, the provincial union executive now f e l t that they were strong enough to c a l l for a general strike in the lumber industry through-out British Columbia. Demanding a one dollar a day general i n -crease for a l l loggers, the B. C. and Di s t r i c t Council of the new Lumber and Sawmill Workers' Union also hoped to gain general union recognition and union agreement between the men and the employers. On May 4, the day for which the general strike was called, only three of the camps i n the Lake Cowichan d i s t r i c t came out in sympathy with V.L. & M.'s camps 8 and 10. The closing of three more camps in one d i s t r i c t hardly constituted a -general strike*. Mrs. Bergren claims that 2,000 loggers, sawmill workers, and shingle weavers answered the strike c a l l . This number would app-ear questionable, but even i f i t were correct, i t s t i l l only re-presents 10% of the men employed in the industry. She further tries to give the impression that the strike became province wide, but this i s most definitely not true. It never did get outside of the Cowichan Valley, and there i s no record of any millworkers 60. The Cowichan Leader, A p r i l 16, 1936, p . l . 61. Bergren, Tough Timber, p.93. 148 having joined with the loggers. She also claims that "early in June the employers offered a 500 a day wage increase in the camps and minor hourly increases i n the sawmills, and with this the walkout was called off i n 62 June." * This statement certainly gives the union and i t s mem-bers far more credit than they are due, for with the miserable failure of the attempted general strike, the loggers realized the f u t i l i t y of further resistance and voluntarily returned to work 63. in the month of May. After having f a i l e d to get up-Island camps to join in the strike after two tries, the union was entire-ly discredited; so much so, that the Communist agitators who had been causing so much trouble for the Cowichan lumber industry for the past three years, were soon to find themselves removed from the positions of power in a new union which truly had the inter-ests of the men at heart. The series of strikes between 1934 and 1936 had been a ser-ious threat to Cowichan*s recovery from the depression, but that i s not to say that no good came out of them. Far i f they accom-plished nothing else, they seemed to have created a new willing-ness among the various groups li v i n g together i n the valley to try.and understand and help each other. An editorial which app-eared i n the Leader shortly after the strike, clearly reveals this new attitude. Environment in the woods was responsible for the loggers* actions during the strike. There i s no greater evidence of this to be found than in the "squandermania" in which the logger, a l l too 62. Bergren, Myrtle, Tough Timber, p.90 63. The Cowichan Leader, May 28, 1936, p . l . 149 generally indulges when on holiday. ... There i s then i n the loggers' environment, some j u s t i f i c a t i o n f o r an outburst or s t r i k e . I t i s a theory which has much to support i t . Loggers at Lake Cowiehan, as they came down from the woods at the time of the s t r i k e , did not mention the s t r i k e i n t h e i r eagerness to get away. The s t r i k e afforded them a break from the mon-otony of the woods, and they were glad of i t . Simple recreational f a c i l i t i e s i n the woods would be certa i n to develop a closer r e l a t i o n s h i p among the men, regardless of t h e i r n a t i o n a l i t i e s . Might i t not be the f i r s t step i n development of a true Canadianism among those whom we now c a l l foreigners? That the man l i v i n g i n or within reach of a c i t y i s more l i k e l y to think things over before going on s t r i k e was i l l u s t r a t e d by the progress of the recent s t r i k e . The more i s o l a t e d camps at Lake Cowiehan were the f i r s t to go out. The camps around Duncan remained at work some days after and, when they did cease work owing to the unusual s t r i k e methods followed, were out only for a short time. The strength of a nation i s i n i t s communities. And i t s i n d i v i d u a l s who make up i t s communities. The pres-ent camp environment makes almost impossible for the average i n d i v i d u a l the conservation and a l l round im-provement of himself. Hence i t makes impossible the growth of sound communities. That factor should be i t s strongest condemnation, the strongest urge that some-thing should be done about i t without delay. With the l a s t of these labour problems, which were i n many senses repercussions of the troubled early t h i r t i e s , the period of the depression lay behind the'people of Cowiehan. Once again they were able to look forward with optimism to what the future held i n store. I t i s perhaps appropriate to close t h i s chronological i n -vestigation of the e f f e c t s of the depression on the Cowiehan 64. The Cowiehan Leader, July 10, 1936, p.4. 150 v a l l e y with the recorded impression of a v i s i t o r to the area i n 1936. Describing the a l l u r e of Duncan, the v i s i t o r noted: "The depression has had les s e f f e c t on.Duncan, probably, than any other community i n the westi I t i s one of B r i t i s h Columbia's 65 most prosperous communities." * 65. The Cowichan Leader. May 7, 1936, p.4. 151 CONCLUSION What were the over-all or long-term effects of the depress-ion on the people of the Cowichan Valley? How did the years of economic scarcity influence the evolution of community l i f e and the social, p o l i t i c a l and economic development of the area? The First Ttorld V/ar had had a profoundly unsettling effect upon the Cowichan d i s t r i c t , upsetting the habitual routine of the people and altering the customary relationships between d i f f -erent groups within the community. The rapid progress made by the lumber industry both during and after the war had increased the number of economic interests in Cowichan and had further sharpened the contrasts in the relative positions of the varied groups who lived in the valley. The inflationary period which was experienced during the early twenties held down the real i n -come of large sections of the population, particularly among the farmers of the area, and gave temporary strength to movements lik e the United Farmers of British Columbia. However, as condit-ions began to improve, the lasting influence of tradition pre-vailed over the disturbing influences which had arisen during the post-war depression. Throughout the twenties, the citizens of Cowichan s t i l l be-lieved that laissez-faire individualism was the best road to "progress". The assumption was that work was available for every-one who wanted i t , and those who would not work had no claim on society. Cowichan*s pioneer and frontier heritage had placed a premium upon self-sufficiency. Families expected and were ex-pected to cope with their own problems. Prior to the Great 152 Depression, those who were unable for any reason to make their own way were apt to be looked down upon as weaklings. Independ-ence was a matter of pride, and there was small temptation to look to the state for assistance, as practically no provision for social welfare was available. Public assistance was gener-ally not available and where given was regarded with loathing. As the "Winter Years" set in, however, this sense of family self-sufficiency declined rapidly, as entire sections of the com-munity faced the misery of continuing unemployment. With a l l kinds of people in a l l walks of l i f e being affected, i t became impossible to produce evidence in support of the theory that pov-erty resulted principally from a lack of moral fibre. To understand how the 1930's depression effected the indiv-idual, i t i s necessary to try to assess the consequences of con-tinuous unemployment upon a person. What permanent effects do years, or even months of idleness and uncertainty have upon a man? Is work really necessary for human character? Unemployment in this sense, refers to the idleness of those who were able and willing to work, but who were unable to find jobs. As defined above, unemployment was, or should have been a matter of v i t a l concern to a l l ranks of society. Unfortunately, many people in the community whose sympathies would, under ordin-ary circumstances have been with the unemployed, were alienated because of a small substratum of loafers and transients who never had worked, who had no intention of doing so, and who used the situation created by the depression to impose themselves upon the public. 153 Even so, what e f f e c t did enforced unemployment have upon the i n d i v i d u a l who wanted to work? For personality i s always conscious of the environment i n which i t operates; i t can he i n -tegrated or disintegrated. Character has been defined as "com-p e l l i n g b e l i e f i n c e r t a i n knowledge which forces action and thus, taken with environment, determines the conduct of the i n -d i v i d u a l " . 1 * Does unemployment i n any way a f f e c t t h i s "compell-ing b e l i e f " and thus influence the conduct of individuals? I f so, unemployment as experienced during the depression must have had a tremendous influence on personality. Loss of employment had devastating physical, mental, and s p i r i t u a l consequences. For the unemployed i n Cowichan there was a d e f i n i t e pattern of degradation which commenced with the loss of income and which did not ease-up u n t i l the beginnings of recovery i n 1933. Once a job was l o s t , accumulated savings vanished rap-i d l y and poverty followed. Worse jobs had to be accepted, debts were incurred for food and other essentials, and pauperism was almost i n e v i t a b l e . Reluctantly charity or r e l i e f were sought and the family eked out a bare subsistence l i v i n g on the inadequate d i r e c t - r e l i e f supplied by the m u n i c i p a l i t i e s . The most disheart-ening thing about t h i s whole process was the gradual loss of the indi v i d u a l ' s independence. Obviously unemployment r e l i e f was not enough. The system worked a f t e r a fashion; i t did one essential thing - i t provided a bare l i v e l i h o o d for the destitute, so that none perished from starvation. Unemployment contaminated family l i f e . The s t r a i n and worry 1. The Canadian Student. Vol. XVI, No. 61, March, 1934, p.152. 154 and nervous tension i n e v i t a b l y associated with i t made d i f f i c u l t or impossible pleasant and happy relations between husbands and wives or parents and children. Broken homes resulted frequently from the necessity of the husband having to leave home to look for a job, or from h i s desertion to get away from the nagging of hi s wife. Divorce rates i n B r i t i s h Columbia sky-rocketed once conditions improved enough for people to afford them. I t i s not-able, however, that Cowiehan*s divorce rate f a i l e d to increase to 2. anything l i k e the p r o v i n c i a l rate. This fact may be attributed to a number of things: the v i r t u a l i s o l a t i o n of the v a l l e y from the rest of the Island; the r e l a t i v e briefness of the depression i n the area; and to the s o c i a l stigma attached to divorce i n such a small, r u r a l community. The low divorce rate might also be attributed to the i n f l u -ence of the church i n the community, although t h i s theory i s d i f -f i c u l t to prove. A study of l o c a l church attendance during the twenties and the t h i r t i e s does not reveal any appreciable increase 3. i n times of economic stress. This f a i l u r e of the church to ap-peal to those who were unemployed, i l l u s t r a t e s a general f a i l u r e of the established denominations to a l i g n themselves with the new occupational groups and marginal s o c i a l groups which were drawn to Cowiehan by the developing lumber industry. The churches main-tained an appearance of strength i n the va l l e y through the 1920's, thanks mainly to the largely agrarian o r i g i n of the community. The problems of an e s s e n t i a l l y i n d u s t r i a l - c a p i t a l i s t i c society, as represented by the forest industry, lay l a r g e l y outside the 2. See Appendix C. 3. A study of the Church Records of St. Peter's Anglican Parish, 155 province of inte r e s t of the churches. In Cowichan i t was an established fact that: Successful business people tended to dominate i n church p o l i t i c s , and the middle and upper classes came to form the chief body of church supporters, while the s k i l l e d workers and the i n d u s t r i a l pro-l e t a r i o t turned increasingly to other agencies for leadership.^ Two other important e f f e c t s a r i s i n g out of the continued un-employment i n the Cowichan d i s t r i c t were a marked decrease i n the 5. annual marriage rate- Young people simply could not afford to marry. They were therefore faced with three courses which they might follow i n attempting to reach a solution to th e i r problem. They might marry and set up a house on a d r a s t i c a l l y reduced standard of l i v i n g , something very few of them seemed w i l l i n g to dp; they might postpone marriage and remain continent; or .they might postpone marriage and enter into extra-marital sexual r e -lationships. On the basis of most national youth studies i t would appear that the l a t t e r course was the one most often adopted. This, of course, brought with i t a corresponding increase i n the rate of i l l e g i t i m a c y , but i t also resulted i n something o f a quiet revolution i n Canada i n the f i e l d of sexual morality during the t h i r t i e s . The emotional e f f e c t s of unemployment are, of course, very closely related to the physical e f f e c t s . The fear of loss of Quamichan, f a i l e d to reveal any s i g n i f i c a n t change i n church attendance during the depression, although compilation of attendance was rather d i f f i c u l t owing to a somewhat sporadic attendance check. 4. Clark, S. D., The Developing Canadian Community, University of Toronto Press, 1962, p.109. 5. See Appendix B. 156 work soon pervades an ind i v i d u a l ' s l i f e . Nerves are affected and despondency sets i n . The creative urge i s denied through loss of employment and one's sense of r e s p e c t i b i l i t y vanishes. In several cases, p a r t i c u l a r l y i n the e a r l i e r years of the de-pression, t h i s stage was followed by despair, and f i n a l l y s u i -cide. In 1930 and 1931, the number of suicides i n the Cowiehan area increased s t a r t l i n g l y . The number dropped, i n 1932, however, when i t was generally realized that the degrading e f f e c t s of un-employment were common to almost everyone, and did not represent a f a i l u r e of the i n d i v i d u a l . Some of the general s p i r i t u a l e f f e c t s of the depression were evidenced i n a loss of s e l f - d i s c i p l i n e , as habits of sloth and uncleanliness developed. Goodwill toward others became increas-i n g l y d i f f i c u l t . Aliens were discriminated against; farmers and businessmen became embittered toward those on r e l i e f ; and even members of the same family l o s t t h e i r love and respect for one another. While the devastating consequences of unemployment did re-duce many i n Cowiehan to a point of absolute despair and i n e f f e c t -iveness, there were those i n the community who met the challenge and fought back. The active response of the area's c i v i c and business leaders to the problems of unemployment, loss of markets, increased taxation, and corrupt government were such that they set the Cov/ichan area apart from many other d i s t r i c t s i n the prov-ince. The credit f o r t h i s response must go i n large part to the " B r i t i s h " section of the population. Many of these men were re-t i r e d c i v i l servants and m i l i t a r y personnel; they were experienced people who had faced d i f f i c u l t situations i n the past, and who had 157 spent a l i f e t i m e "making things happen". I t i s true that, be-., cause they were receiving f i x e d pensions each month, they did not suffer to the extent of the unemployed logger, or the small farmer, but the t r a d i t i o n of the "white man's burden" was mean-i n g f u l to many of these men, and the depression offered them s t i l l another opportunity to help the unfortunate people around them. Their conduct was another example of men who had a "com-p e l l i n g b e l i e f i n cer t a i n knowledge which forces action ... " Turning to the general economic consequences of the depres-sion, i t may be seen that there was a general strengthening of the p o s i t i o n of the lumber industry i n the Cowichan area. Through-out B r i t i s h Columbia the depression was responsible f o r a heavy increase i n lumber production, also for an increase i n the number of operating sawmills. A large portion of the American market was l o s t , but due to the fortuitous combination of factors which ar-ose as a r e s u l t of the depression, B r i t i s h Columbia's market base was d i v e r s i f i e d and s t a b i l i z e d . Shipments increased r a p i d l y and continued at a high p i t c h u n t i l a f t e r the outbreak of World War I I . Several factors besides t a r i f f preferences were responsible for t h i s remarkable achievement: subsidized shipping which allowed the industry increased d i s t r i b u t i o n , the aggressive salesmanship of the large exporting firms which was e a s i l y the equal of that of i t s American competitors, the cooperation of both the provinc-i a l and dominion governments, and the r e l a t i v e l y stable labour condition i n B r i t i s h Columbia.industry through the t h i r t i e s . By the end of the depression period there was no more talk about the 158 foolishness of "riding on the wave of prosperity" derived from forestry, for lumbering was now acknowledged as Cowiehan's prim-ary industry. Unfortunately, the depression represented something of a death-knell for what had once been Cowiehan's most important 6. source of income - agriculture. The extended failure of comm-odity prices and specialized markets proved to be the straw that broke the camel's back. Young people had been reluctant, even during the twenties, to take up farming as a career when a l l ar-ound them they could see the benefits which might be derived from the lumber industry. So, when the forest industry began to make i t s rapid recovery in 1933, while agriculture s t i l l remained firmly locked i n the grip of the depression, hundreds of would-be farmers discarded their hay-forks i n favour of axes and peevees. Milk, butter, and egg production made a somewhat better re-covery in the latter part of the th i r t i e s than did produce, but Cowiehan would never again be recognized as one of the major dairying centres of the province. By the time the Second World War broke out, many of the local farms had been subdivided and turned into residential housing sites for the large numbers of people who flocked to the valley from the Canadian Prairies f o l -lowing the severe drought conditions of 1936/37. Even Cowiohan*s "gentlemen farmers" found i t uneconomical to continue their ag-r i c u l t u r a l pursuits. Most of them had now reached an age where i t was impossible to do the work themselves, and by the end of the th i r t i e s even Chinese labour was too expensive to allow for 6. See Appendix D. 159 profitable production. One of the most pronounced consequences of the depression in Cowichan may be found in the field of l o c a l p o l i t i c s . A study of the provincial elections of 1928, 1933, and 1937 re-veals a very definite shift from right to l e f t i n the p o l i t i c a l spectrum. * In 1928, Davie, the Conservative, took 58% of the popular vote, while Guthrie, the Labour candidate, only received 8, 39.6%. In that election most of Guthrie's support came from Ladysmith and the South Wellington portion of the constituency. Davie, on the other hand, drew most of his votes from the more Conservative portion of the riding, that i s , the Cowichan Valley region. The 1933 election has already been discussed in some detail. However, the strengthening of the C.C.F. position i s worth noting again. Savage, the Independent, won 40.8% of the popular vote, g while Guthrie followed closely with 31.8%. * The same north-south division wasstill pronounced i n 1933, but labour sympathy was noticeably increased in some of the previously Conservative polls. The village of Chemainus gave Guthrie a majority for the f i r s t time. In 1937, the picture was quite different. With a total of 4,687 votes cast, Savage took 26.1%; A. C. Flett, a Liberal, also took 26.1%; while the persistent Guthrie was able to take advant-age of this division to win with 33,3% of the popular vote. 1 0* 7. See Appendix F. 8. British Columbia Statement of Votes, General Elections  1928 to 1956, Queen's Printer, Victoria, 1956, p.17. 9* Ibid., p.R17. 10. Ibid., p.40. 160 Since 1937, Cowiehan-Newcastle has remained a stronghold of the C.C.F.-N.D.P. party i n B r i t i s h Columbia, and i s today the "safe" r i d i n g f o r Mr. Strachan, the Party's leader. In retrospect i t i s probably true that the Cowiehan V a l l e y suffered less than most other areas of B r i t i s h Columbia during the depression. This f a c t i s attributable to the high percent-age of residents who had f i x e d incomes, and to the rapid recovery of the f o r e s t industry. Because of the employment potential o f f -ered i n the lumber camps and sawmills, the area attracted a good many immigrants during the l a t e t h i r t i e s . By the time of the 1941 census the Municipality of North Cowiehan had a population of 4,590 and the City of Duncan, 2,189.1'L* This represented an 18.8$ increase over the 1921 figure i n Duncan, and a 39.4$ i n -crease i n the Municipality. In 1931, 76.9$ of the population had been of B r i t i s h r a c i a l descent, by 1941 t h i s figure had dropped 12 s l i g h t l y to stand at 75.2$ * Slowly, almost imperceptibly, the atmosphere i n Cowiehan was beginning to change. Duncan and the surrounding countryside used to be regarded as the most "'English'*' town outside of England and probably was,, but even here a gener-ation of new Canadians could not be prevented from growing up. Yet, even today you w i l l s t i l l find on the streets of Duncan some of the old breed. 11. Eighth Census of Canada, Vo l . I I , Population, King's Printer, Ottawa, 1941, p.54. 12. Figures drawn from the Seventh and Eighth Census of  Canada, Vols. I I , Population. Also see Appendix A. 161 BIBLIOGRAPHY I. Government Publications: 1. B r i t i s h Columbia Attorned- General Department - Report  of the Inspector of Municipalities, for the years 1929-1932, King's Printer, V i c t o r i a , B.C. 2. B r i t i s h Columbia Department of Agriculture, Agricultural  S t a t i s t i c s Reports, for the years 1919 to 1940, King's Printer, V i c t o r i a , B.C. 3. B r i t i s h Columbia Department of Municipal A f f a i r s , Reports  of the Deputy Minister, for the years 1933 to 1940, King's Printer, V i c t o r i a , B.C. 4. B r i t i s h Columbia Statement of Votes: General Elections  1928 to 1956, Queen's Printer, V i c t o r i a , B.C., 1956. 5. Eighth Census of Canada, 1941, Vol. II, Population, King's Printer, Ottawa, 1941. 6. Province of B r i t i s h Columbia, Bureau of Provincial Inform- ation, B u l l e t i n No. 14 (Land Series). King's Printer, V i c t o r i a , B.C., 1928. 7. Public Health Hurses B u l l e t i n . Vol. I, 1924 to 1932, Vol.-II, 1933 to 1936, Provincial Board of Health, V i c t o r i a , B.C. 8. Report of the B r i t i s h Columbia Provincial Board of Health, for the years 1918 to 1939. Also contained therein are the Reports of the Medical Inspector of Schools. King's Printer, V i c t o r i a , B.C. 9.Seventh Census of Canada, 1931. Vol. I I , Population, King's Printer, Ottawa, 1931. 10.Sixth Census of Canada. 1921. Vol. I I , Population, King's Printer, Ottawa, 1921. 11.Vital S t a t i s t i c s Reports for the Province of B r i t i s h Col-umbia, for the years 1918 to 1940, King's Printer, V i c t -oria, B.C. I I . Manuscripts: lJ'Annual Report of the Central Vancouver Island Health Unit, 1935? M.S., Duncan, B.C. 2. " B r i t i s h Columbia Forest Service, Young Men's Forestry Training Plan: a Statement of i t s Progress to Date and i t s P o s s i b i l i t i e s " , September, 1935, M.S., U.B.C. 3. Cassidy, H.M., "Seorganization of B r i t i s h Columbia's 161 Health and Welfare Services", M.S., U.B.C.,1939. 4. "Parish Records of S.t. Peter's Church, Quamichan", 1919 to 1940, M.S., St. Peter's Church, Duncan, B.C. I I I . Books and Thesis: 1. Bergren, Myrtle, Tough Timber, the Loggers of B.C. -their Story, Progress Books, Toronto, 1966. 2. Carter, S.M., ed. and publ., Who's Who i n B r i t i s h Colu- mbia, 1931, An I l l u s t r a t e d Record of the Men and Women  of today, V i c t o r i a , V i c t o r i a P r i n t i n g and Publishing Co., 1930. 3. Clark, S.D., The Developing Canadian Community, Univ-er s i t y of Toronto Press, 1962. 4. Gilmour, J.F., "The Forest Industry As a Determinant of Settlement i n B r i t i s h Columbia: the Case for Integration Through Regional Planning", M. Sc. thesis, Department of Community and Regional Planning, U.B.C., 1965. 5. Gorter, W, and Hindebrand, G.N., The P a c i f i c Coast Mari-time Shipping Industry, 1930 - 1948, 2 vols.; Vol, II, "An Analysis of Performance", University of C a l i f o r n i a Press, Berkeley and Los Angeles, 1954. 6. Howay, F.N.; Sage, W.N.; Angus, H.F.; ed. by Angus, H.'F., B r i t i s h Columbia and the United States, Toronto, Ryerson Press, 1942. 7. Lane, M.E., "Unemployment During the Depression: The Pro-blem of the Single Unemployed Transient i n B r i t i s h Colum-bia, 1930 - 1938", B.A. Graduating Essay (History), 1966. 8. Lawrence, J.C., "Markets and Capital: A History of the Lumber Industry of B r i t i s h Columbia (1778 - 1952)',' M.A. thesis, U.B.C., 1957. 9. Lower, A.R.M., The North American Assault on the Canadian  Forest, Toronto, Ryerson Press, 1938. Contains: Carrothers, W.A., "Forest Industries of B r i t i s h Columbia". 10. Lynd, R.S., and Lynd, H.M., Middletown i n Transition, Harcourt, Brace and World, Inc., New York, 1937. 11. Norcross, E.B., The Warm Land, Evergreen Press, Nanai-mo, 1959. 12.0rmsby, M.A., B r i t i s h Columbia: a History, MacMillans i n Canada, Vancouver, 1958. 13.Richter, L., ed., Canada's Unemployment Problem. Studies of the Institute of Public A f f a i r s at Dalhousie University, MacMillan of Can da Ltd., Toronto, 1939. 163 14.Saywell, J.F.T., Kaatza: The Chronicles of Cowichan  Lake, Peninsula Pr i n t i n g Co., Sidney, B.C., 1967. 15.Susanik, R., "The Changes i n the B r i t i s h Market for B r i t i s h Columbia's Lumber Since 1935", Master of Forestry thesis, U.B.C., 1954. 16.Wallace, M.E., "The Changing Canadian State: A Study of the State as revealed i n Canadian Social Legisla-tion: 1867 - 1948", Ph. D. thesis, Faculty of P o l i t i -cal Science, Columbia University, 1950. 1$.Williams, D.R., One Hundred Years at St. Peter's,  Quamichan, Cowichan Leader, Duncan, B.C., 1967. 18.Wright, A.J., "A Study of the Social and Economic Dev-elopment of the D i s t r i c t of North Cowichan: 1850 -1912", B.A. Graduating Essay (History), U.B.C., 1966. . Newspapers and Periodicals: 1. Angus, H.H., "The Kidd Report i n B r i t i s h Columbia", Canadian Forum, Vol. XIII, November, 1932, p.47. 2. B r i t i s h Columbia Lumberman, publ. by the B r i t i s h Col-umbia Loggers* Association, Vancouver, B.C., 1929 -1940. 5.Cowichan Leader, Duncan, B.C., 1918 - 1939. 4. French, Norman, "A L i t t l e Bit of England i n t h e Far West", Toronto Sunday Sun, an undated cl i p p i n g at the B r i t i s h Columbia Provincial Archives, 1925(?). 5. Hutchison, Bruce, "On the T r a i l of the Election", Vancouver  Province, October 31, 1934, p.3. 6. Mortimer, G.E., "This Week's P r o f i l e : Hugh George Egioke Savage", The Islander Magazine, V i c t o r i a Daily Colonist. January 15, 1956, p . l . 7.Organ, Arthur, "Unemployment and Personality", The Cana-dian Student. Pt. I, Vol. XVI, Bebruary, 1934, p.118; Pt. II, Vol. XVI, March-April, 1934, p.152. 8. "Panel P o r t r a i t s : Mr. Hugh Savage", Maclean's Magazine. Vol. 47, No. 15, August 1, 1934. 9. Porter, McKenzie, "The Last Stronghold of the Longstockings Maclean's Magazine, A p r i l 2, 1955, p.30. 10.Scott, F.R., "An Anthology of UP-To-Date Canadian Poetry", Canadian Forum. Vol. XII, No. 140, pp.290-291. ll.Soward, F.H., " B r i t i s h Columbia Goes L i b e r a l " , Canadian  Forum. Vol. XIV, December, 1933, p.86. 12.Vancouver Province. "Where an Emerald Mirror Reflects Dun-can's Beauty: A L i t t l e B it of England Beyond the Seas", September 14, 1930, p.2. 164 APPENDIX A POPULATIOI CHANGES: 1931 TO 1941. P o p u l a t i o n C l a s s i f i e d t o P r i n c i p a l O r i g i n Census 1931 Census 1941 I n c r e a s e or decrease N. Cowiehan T o t a l : 3,291 4,590 p l u s 1,299 B r i t i s h Races: E n g l i s h 1,663 2,283 p l u s 620 I r i s h 248 332 p l u s 84 S c o t t i s h 546 743 p l u s 197 Other 74 94 p l u s 20 European Races: French 68 115 p l u s 47 A u s t r i a n 11 10 minus 1 Belgium 2 15 p l u s 13 Czech & Slovak 2 13 p l u s 11 Dutch 15 39 p l u s 24 F i n n i s h 28 38 p l u s 10 German 43 110 p l u s 67 I t a l i a n 24 37 p l u s 13 P o l i s h 3 29 p l u s 26 R u s s i a n 10 16 p l u s 6 S c a n d i n a v i a n 62 155 p l u s 93 Hungarian 0 7 p l u s 7 Roumanian 0 6 p l u s 6 U k r a n i a n 0 6 p l u s 6 A s i a t i c Races: Chinese and Japanese 449 475 p l u s 26 Duncan T o t a l : 1,843 2,189 p l u s 346 B r i t i s h Races: E n g l i s h 1,197 1,115 minus 82 I r i s h 69 197 p l u s 128 S c o t t i s h 161 381 p l u s 220 European Races: French 21 44 p l u s 23 Belgium 6 8 p l u s 2 Dutch 1 29 p l u s 28 F i n n i s h 1 6 p l u s 5 German 11 21 p l u s 10 Ru s s i a n 4 11 p l u s 7 S c a n d i n a v i a n 21 30 p l u s 9 A s i a t i c Races 337 257 minus 80 5", ooo Hr.ooo 3,000 I,ooo /ooo Jm MMC. or N. C O W I C H A N • POP- H « H C ^ N J O J Pol*- Hfl C£TNjv T | | poP i 12/ census F i g u r e s drawn from the Seventh and E i g h t h Census o f Canada,  V o l . I I , P o p u l a t i o n . 165 APPENDIX B MARRIAGE AMD BIRTH RATES FROM 1919 TO 1940 MARRIAGES 70 i* H>o So 2o 10 MO 'ZZ '2* 'U 'It /fJO '3Z '& '3L '3t t*#* BIRTHS too ITS /to • t t » / / 1 * / 7 / " I Uo tl 'LH- 5W 'Zt l93o '31 'Jf 'J6 7/ l«H-o F i g u r e s drawn from the P r o v i n c e o f B r i t i s h Columbia, Board  o f H e a l t h , Report o f V i t a l S t a t i s t i c s , 1919 to 1940, f o r Duncan, •u«<-;« 166 APPENDIX C DIVORCE RATE I t i s d i f f i c u l t t o determine the number o f d i v o r c e e t a k i n g p l a c e i n an a r e a l i k e Cowichan, f o r most couples would t r a v e l to a l a r g e r c e n t r e , such as V i c t o r i a o r Vancouver, to have t h e i r case t r i e d . The f i g u r e s used i n the second o f these graphs have been drawn from the Annual Reports o f the Mothers' P e n s i o n Board. T h i s Board s u p p l i e d p e n s i o n s t o d i v o r c e e s , widows, and wives o f i n c a p a c i t a t e d men. When one c o n s i d e r s the i n c r e a s e i n p o p u l a t i o n d u r i n g the t h i r t i e s , i t may be seen t h a t t h e r e was no s i g n i f i c a n t i n c r e a s e i n the number o f d i v o r c e e s l i v i n g i n the a r e a . The f i r s t graph was c o n t a i n e d i n the Mothers' P e n s i o n Board Report i n 1937. BRITISH COLUMBIA MARRIAGE AND DIVORCE RATES loOOO • p 4800 moo f A / / V 'JOG ZOO H2l £5 Z6 t1 21 3» 33 35 37 MOTHERS' PENSION RECIPIENTS IN DUNCAN ifi 1121 50 i l %%. Hi 3K 3<> % 57 3\ 3i 40 167 APPENDIX D QUANTITY OF FRUITS AND VEGETABLES FORWARDED BY EXPRESS FROM DUNCAN, B.C., 1919 To 1939. so,o«o t a f i — I 1 1 1 1 1 1 30,000 t«J-lOooo MS. mo tl '2* 'lb 'it 1130 '31 'M '3<, 'ii "*a F i g u r e s drawn from Department o f A g r i c u l t u r a l S t a t i s t i c s  R e p o r t s , 1919 to 1939, K i n g ' s P r i n t e r , V i c t o r i a . 168 APPENDIX E NET LIQUOR SALES, DUNCAN, B.C., 1923 TO 1938. F i g u r e s drawn from Annual Reports o f the L i q u o r C o n t r o l  Board o f the P r o v i n c e o f B r i t i s h Columbia. 1922 to 1938, King's P r i n t e r , V i c t o r i a , B.C. 169 APPENDIX F PROVINCIAL ELECTIONS, COWICHAN-NEWCASTLE, 1928 - 1937. The following l i s t i n g s and graph w i l l i l l u s t r a t e the swing from Conservative to C.C.F. i n the Cowichan-Newcastle ri d i n g during the 1930*s. The place names on the l i s t i n g s are given geographically i n a north-south sequence. Those which are i n the Newcastle area are followed with an (M) su f f i x , while those i n the Cowichan area are appended with a (C). Cowichan-Newcastle Elec t o r a l D i s t r i c t Election, July 18, 1928. Po l l i n g Division Davie Gray Guthrie Total (Cons.) (Lib.) (Lab.) E. Wellington I .N) 36 2 25 63 Ladysmith i >N) 379 4 537 920 S. Wellington 1 N) 37 4 129 180 Northfield i N) 94 1 57 152 S. Cedar < N) 126 5 50 181 Extension i ,N) 73 3 69 145 Cassidy i kH) 73 4 77 154 Chemainus i 159 6 114 279 Crofton i ,c) 39 5 5 49 Westholme i c ) 61 1 13 75 Somenos i :c) 97 10 24 131 Duncan i ;c) 779 31 320 1,130 Cowichan Lake 1 k c ) 64 4 40 108 Cowichan Stn. i 160 2 36 198 Absentee Votes i kSec . 106)48 5 44 97 Absentee fJotes(Sec. 107)135 3 67 205 2,360 90 1,607 4,057 Cowichan-Newcastle E l e c t o r a l D i s t r i c t Election, Nov.2, 1933. P o l l i n g Division Davie (Non-Partisan) S. Cedar (N) 29 Cassidy (N) 2 Ladysmith (N) 85 I. Gabriola w 5 S. Gabriola w 0 Chemainus ( c ) 22 Crofton ( c ) 2 Westholme ( c ) 6 Somenos ( c ) 35 Duncan ( c ) 314 Cowichan Lake(C) 23 Cowichan Stn.(C) 27 Absentee Votes (Sec. 106) 5 Guthrie Ramsay Savage Total (C.C.F.) (Ind.) tlnd.) 98 33 46 206 42 20 19 83 525 183 134 927 24 13 23 " 65 17 4 24 45 112 90 105 329 16 4 32 54 15 7 59 87 36 6 74 151 286 93 850 1 ,543 42 33 64 162 28 18 170 243 17 1 6 29 170 P o l l i n g D i v i s i o n Davie (Non- G u t h r i e Ramsay Savage T o t a l p a r t i s a n ) (C.C.F.) ( L i b . ) (Ind.) Absentee Votes (Se c. 107) 30 30 15 49 124 585 1,288 520 1,655 4,048 Cowichan-Newcastle E l e c t o r a l E l e c t i o n June 1, 1937. P o l l i n g D i v i s i o n D e y k i n F l e t t G u t h r i e £ avage R _ i p r t T o t a l (Cons) ( L i b ) (C.C.F.) f Ind.) R e 3 e c t S.Cedar (N) 15 46 89 59 5 206 C a s s i d y (1) 3 24 44 13 0 84 Ladys m i t h (N) 76 209 609 165 4 1,063 S. G a b r i o l a (K) 16 19 30 7 0 72 N. G a b r i o l a (N) 12 6 7 8 0 33 Chemainus (C) 54 136 113 114 2 419 C r o f t o n (C) 14 14 25 17 0 70 Westholme (C) 9 16 8 42 0 75 Somenos (C) 43 33 47 36 0 159 Duncan (C) 274 529 411 603 11 1,828 Cowichan Lake(C) 16 29 32 28 0 105 Youbou (C) 7 58 26 17 0 108 Cowichan Stn.(C) 79 49 46 74 1 249 Absentee Sec. 106 9 23 46 22 0 100 Absentee Sec. 107 12 33 27 25 19 116 639 1,224 1,560 1 ,222 42 4,687 1. Z. foo > Z, ooo /, 5~oo S'OO .-J s > • 1 • • • 1137 EL£c r, /1Z » * r"/o/J /133 £J-£c- r,o a / COA/f. /MO c-cr. 1 . B r i t i s h Columbia Statement o f Votes: General E l e c t i o n s 1928 -1 S 5 6 t k e e n ' s P r i n t e r , V i c t o r i a , 1956. 

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