Essay Guide
Québec History
Civilisation Occidentale
About Claude Bélanger

Letter No. 14 of Joseph R. Smallwood on Confederation



[The figures quoted in the letter refer to the customs duty charged on the product as it was imported into Newfoundland .]


Editor Daily News,


Dear Sir - The alarm clock (60%) rang noisily at 7.45. Bill Doakes stirred, then woke up. He threw the bed clothes (40%) off him and the mattress (50%) creaked as he leapt out of bed (50%). Picking up his eyeglasses (65%) from the chair (65%) he put on his slippers (30%) and hurried over to the window. He let the blind (50%) slip up with a whirl and pushed the curtains (50%) aside. He saw as he looked through the glass (45%) that it was a fair morning.


Hurrying to the bath (35%) room, he threw off his pyjama (40%) coat and turned on the hot water tap (50%) into the wash basin (35%). First he washed with soap (40%) and then vigorously lathered (40%) up with his shave brush (65%). Adjusting a new blade (50%) to his razor (50%) he soon had the stubborn stubble off: His face felt cool and clean after he had slapped on some after-shave lotion (65%). Throwing the damp towel (40%) down, he hurried back to his room.


Quickly he got into his underwear (40%), hauled on his socks (40%), slipped into his shirt (40%) and reached for his collar (40%). He swore under his breath as the collar button (40%) slipped, but finally he got it on and tightened his tie (40%). He slipped into his suit (30%) and hurried downstairs. Bill went into the kitchen and. warmed himself by the range (50%). While his wife placed two rashers of bacon (6¢ lb) in the frying pan (30%) he drank his fruit juice (35%). He ate his corn flakes (50%) and soon was enjoying his bacon. His wife handed him a cup (35%) of tea (10¢ lb.) and he buttered his toast and reached for the marmalade (6¢ lb.). The tea wasn't quite sweet enough, so he added a little sugar (4 1/2¢ lb.). He was finished at last. He struck a match (3/5 of a cent a box) and lit a cigarette ($4.95 lb.).


In the hall he put on his leather windbreaker (45%), his hat (50%) and gloves (45%) and went out the front door. Glancing at the thermometer (50%) to see the temperature, he crossed the cement (35%) walk to the car (20%) and got in. Slipping a stick of chewing gum (65%) between his teeth (false, 40%) he started down the street.


It was exactly 8.30 by his watch (60%) as he sat at his desk (65%) and took up the morning's Daily News . After he had looked over the paper he settled down to the editorial page and read the letters carefully. Then for the first time that morning he spoke. Addressing his stenographer who already (!) was busily clattering the keys of the typewriter (35%) he said: "I just can't see where they get the idea that Confederation would help us. Why, we'd be taxed to death!"


Yours truly,

 J.R. Smallwood


Source: Joseph R. SMALLWOOD, letter to the editor, The Daily News, April 1, 1946.


© 2004 Claude Bélanger, Marianopolis College