Witley, June 15, 1917

Friday          Finished whitewashing today[.] rec’d a letter from [his brother] Ted. informs me that the Frenchies are putting in for an increase The weather remains warm, the battery came in about 4:30[.] Am in the pink

Ted Theobald and family outdoors crop Today is the seventh birthday of Ted and Alice’s elder daughter Elsie; her little sister Alice is almost exactly five years her junior, so this photograph of the family was probably taken in the summer of 1917.

The railway news in Canada recently has not  been so much about pay demands by the French Canadian workers in the Canadian Northern Railway — Ted’s immediate concern — as about the proposed amalgamation and nationalization of struggling rail companies.

A Royal Commission had been struck in July 1916 to study what could be done about railways like the CNR (of CNoR) which is “living from hand to mouth, and is unable to meet its financial obligations.” (1) Last month, Parliament received from two of the three commissioners a recommendation for the  “immediate nationalization of the Grand Trunk, Grand Trunk Pacific and Canadian Northern, and their amalgamation with the National Transcontinental and Intercolonial into one great publicly-owned system, operated by an independent board of five Commissioners on a strictly business and economic basis, free from the danger of all political interference.” (2) The third commissioner, the president of an American railway, submitted a minority report arguing for the continuation of private enterprise. (2) The majority recommendation is that one that came to pass, giving Canada eventually two trans-Continental railway systems, the nationalized Canadian National Railway and the private company Canadian Pacific.

(1) “Nationalization of railways becomes an issue.” The Globe (1844-1936). May 3, 1917. 1. Archive available from ProQuest Historical Newspapers.
(2) “Nationalization.” The Globe, May 3, 1917. 4

Copyright 2017. See “More about this project.”

 

 

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