The Americans – a Canadian's Opinion
by Gordon Sinclair
[June 1973 commentary broadcast on CFRB radio]
The United States dollar took another pounding on German, French,
and British exchanges this morning, hitting the lowest point ever
known in West Germany.
It has declined there by 41% since 1971, and this Canadian thinks
it's time to speak up for the Americans as the most generous and
possibly the least appreciated people in all the world.
As long as sixty years ago, when I first started to read
newspapers, I read of floods on the Yellow River and the Yangtze.
Well, who rushed in with men and money to help?
The Americans did; that's who.
They have helped control floods on the Nile, the Amazon, the
Ganges, and the Niger. Today, the rich bottom land of the
Mississippi is underwater, and no foreign land has sent a dollar
Germany, Japan, and to a lesser extent Britain and Italy, were
lifted out of the debris of war by the Americans who poured in
billions of dollars and forgave other billions in debts.
None of those countries is today paying even the interest on its
remaining debts to the United States.
When the franc was in danger of collapsing in 1956, it was the
Americans who propped it up, and their reward was to be insulted
and swindled on the streets of Paris – and I was there, I
When distant cities are hit by earthquake, it's the United States
that hurries in to help; Managua, Nicaragua is one of the most
So far this spring, 59 American communities have been flattened
by tornadoes – nobody has helped.
The Marshall Plan, the Truman Policy – all pumped billions
upon billions of dollars into discouraged countries, and now
newspapers in those countries are writing about the decadent,
war-mongering Americans. Now, I'd like to see just one of those
countries that is gloating over the erosion of the United States
dollar build its own airplanes.
Come on, now you – let's hear it!
Does any country in the world have a plane to equal the Boeing
jumbo jet, the Lockheed Tristar, or the Douglas Ten. If so, why
don't they fly them? Why do all international lines except Russia
fly American planes?
Why does no other land on earth even consider putting a man or a
woman on the moon? You talk about Japanese technocracy, and you
You talk about German technocracy, and you get automobiles. You
talk about American technocracy, and you find men on the moon,
not once, but several times, and safely home again.
You talk about scandals, and the Americans put theirs right in
the store window for everybody to look at. Even the draft dodgers
are not pursued and hounded. They're right here on our streets in
Toronto. Most of them, unless they're breaking Canadian laws, are
getting American dollars from ma and pa at home to spend up here.
When the Americans get out of this bind, as they will, who could
blame them if they said to hell with the rest of the world.
Let somebody else buy the bonds. Let somebody else build or
repair foreign dams, or design foreign buildings that won't shake
apart in earthquakes. When the railways of France and Germany and
India were breaking down through age, it was the Americans who
rebuilt them. When the Pennsylvania Railroad and the New York
Central went broke, nobody loaned them an old caboose.
Both of them are still broke. I can name to you five thousand
times when the Americans raced to the help of other people in
trouble. Can you name to me even one time when someone raced to
the help of the Americans in trouble?
I don't think there was outside help even during the San
Francisco earthquake. Our neighbors have faced it alone.
And I'm one Canadian who is damned tired of hearing them kicked
around. They'll come out of this thing with their flag high, and
when they do, they're entitled to thumb their noses at the lands
that are gloating over their present trouble.
I hope Canada is not one of these. But there are many smug,
self-righteous Canadians. And finally, the American Red Cross was
told at its forty-eighth annual meeting in New Orleans this
morning that it was broke.
This year's disasters, with the year less than half over, have
taken it all, and nobody, but nobody, has helped.