- Macphail, Agnes, Author
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- Letter from Agnes Macphail to her constituents in Grey County.
- Ottawa, February 6, 1928
Before I always sent my letter to the Secretary
of the Club, but this time I am trying the experiment of
sending you each a letter, though I am sorry to say all of them are the same.
I attended the first three days of the Cooperative Marketing School in Toronto, and liked it very much. I regretted I could not stay for it all. I think it is the best thing that the United Farmers have done yet along educational lines. I was sorry there were not more women there. To look at an audience of 90% men, it appears that women are not interested in efficient marketing of farm products, and yet I know that is not true, but that they were so busy at home they just felt that they could not spare the time. All the Professors were good, some of them a bit dry, but Dr. Macklin stood out like a beacon light. His addresses are made in every-day language, and yet his knowledge is vast. One forgets, however, that he is a very learned man, and thinks only, "Here is a brother pointing the way out for us." I remember one sentence. He asked the question, "Has agriculture assumed the responsibility of marketing its own products?" And then in answering his own question he said,"No, and the industry that fails to assume responsibility for marketing arrives last in the race for the consumer's dollar, like the runt pig." He told story after story of how in different parts of the world, farmers had by their own efforts raised the standard of their product, and the selling price of that product, through co-operative marketing. He made one feel that nothing was impossible if only one had the courage to try. It was a treat to hear a great professor say that marketing is of as much importance to agriculture as production. I get so sick of these agricultural schools emphasizing production as though making two blades of grass grow where one grew before was the whole thing. A lot of good that is if the price is not increased. I thought his definition of the contract, too, was the best I had heard. He said, "It is only a legal definition of agreement among ourselves stating clearly what we intend to do." I had to leave Wednesday night and come down for the opening. The opening was more gorgeous than ever before. By that, I mean there were more half-naked women sitting around the Senate Chamber and the corridors. The House went right on the next day, and the drawing-room was Friday night. I understand that almost every one wore trains and feathers. I mean the women. I did not attend. They will never get a train and feathers on me.
I spent the first week-end in Detroit and Windsor.
I visited at the home of Mr. and Mrs. John Whiteford ; he was
director for Grey. They are getting steady work, and are
quite happy, but Mr. Whiteford does miss the U.F.O.
Detroit is a very busy, noisy, crowded, dirty place. I would not like to live there at all.
My address to the business and professional women of Windsor was much more successful than I had hoped for. They presented me with a bouquet of roses and lily of the valley, and were in every way delightful. I was delighted with the school system in Windsor. The children have a stationary or home teacher for a half day, and for the other half they go from specialist to specialist taking music, public speaking, physical exercise, French, etc. The teachers and children seem so interested and alive.
The session so far has been very dull. The Speech from the Throne outlined very little legislation. It was so vague, however, that anything may come down. It looks as though the speech in reply would be over by about Monday or Tuesday. I am preparing my speech this afternoon.
If there is anything I can do for you during the session, let me know, and I will be glad to help.
I am sorry to miss the next meeting.
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- Macphail, Agnes Campbell (1890-1954)
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