Berwick, N. S., Wednesday Evening, January 15, 1930

Letters To The Editor

Nova Scotia’s Destiny Is Upon The Sea

Editor The Register:

"The Man About Town," in your issue of Jan. 1st, 1930, expresses his pleasure that the day of the wooden ships and attendant conditions is past in Nova Scotia. He states that there is more cargo landed in Halifax from liners and freighters in one week now than was landed from the old wooden ships in one year. That statement is of course somewhat metaphorical. Those old ships were owned in Nova Scotia, officered and manned by Nova Scotians. The profits derived from their voyages were returned to Nova Scotia. The old ships sailed out of every port in the Province, were outfitted in their home ports and were laden with the varied products of Nova Scotia farms, forests, mines and the sea. At every seaport there was a ready market for the products of many industries and labor.

Concentration of business in Halifax alone is economically unsound. A Norwegian ship in Nova Scotia, loading 3,000,000 feet of deal in one week, doing a whole summer’s work in a few days, is a startling revelation of Nova Scotian commercial decadence. Norwegian navigation laws and shipping conditions and wage scales are such as would not be tolerated on Nova Scotian ships nor by Canadian marine law.

The United States, following the Civil War adopted a protective tariff policy and as a result her commercial carriers disappeared from the seas. About the same time Nova Scotia abrogated her right to control her own fiscal policy, and the policy of protection in 1878 drove us from the sea.

All this took place coincident with the change from wood to iron and steel. Nova Scotia, from her situation, her latent resources and the sea-faring adaptability of her people, was pre-eminently the country fitted to take full advantage of the transition, but he policy of high tariffs completely precluded this.

Nova Scotia in the old days, whose passing is so joyously hailed, in 1864 had an overseas water home trade amounting to $80,000,000; over $30,000,000 of our products were sold in European markets, the remainder chiefly in the United States and the West Indies.

This great volume of commerce was almost wholly carried in N. S. ships. How much of that trade is the Province doing today?

Had this condition continued N. S. should be doing a like business to the value of 125,000,000 or over. Shipbuilding as an industry has not been replaced by any other. It has simply disappeared and is a total loss.

The statement that coal mining, steel, iron or paper manufacturing displaced shipbuilding is an expression of the rankest fallacy. All this would have come in a greater measure, as additional business, had N. S. endured as a ship-builder. The old conditions of an evenly and generally distributed industrial activity would have been increased to an almost inconceivable extent. Our industrial centres would be teeming cities and marts of commerce, instead of struggling strangled victims, subjects for endless commissions of enquiry.

Assuredly this is no time to quit in despair. But incontrovertibly Nova Scotia’s destiny is upon the sea, and to the sea she must return. To the sea she will return, when her own people with a united voice demand the right to fulfil their own destiny. A spirit is abroad that will bring this to pass far sooner than those whose vision is obscured by Norwegian ships, and those who seek to confound that greatest of all teachers – experience – are seemingly aware.

Frank A. Bolser


The Register,

Wednesday Evening, January 15, 1930

PROMINENT MASTER MARINER DIES

Captain William McBride Of Kentville Passed Away Friday Night – Was Native Of Harborville.

Captain William McBride, one of Kentville’s most prominent citizens, passed away on Friday evening, Jan. 10th, following a three week’s illness. Captain McBride, who was 65 years of age, was the son of the late Captain Samuel McBride of Harborville. From early youth he followed the sea, rising from cabin boy to master of the United Fruit Company steamers until his return from the sea twenty-five years ago.

When the war broke out Captain McBride immediately volunteered for service and was captain of a number of transport ships conveying Canadian troops overseas. He was prominent in civic affairs in the Town of Kentville, being for fifteen years a member of the Town Council. He was a member of Kentville Lodge No. 58 A. F. & A. M., and of the United Church.

Beside his wife, who was a daughter of the late John Redden of Kentville, he is survived by two sons, John McBride of Berwick, and Malcolm in the Southern United States; one daughter, Mrs. Marion Evans, Dietician at the Nova Scotia Sanatorium; three brothers, Audber, of Boston Mass.; Fred, of North Adams, Mass., and Captain George of New Orleans; also two sisters, Mrs. Emma Connors and Mrs. D. B. Parker, Harborville. One brother, Captain Charles I. McBride, of Waterville, predeceased him about a year ago.

The funeral was held from the residence on Sunday at 2.30 o’clock, conducted by the Rev. A. A. McLeod, pastor of the United Church and the Masonic Order, of which the deceased was a highly esteemed member. The Masons also took charge at the grave. Eight of his fellow Masons were pall-bearers. The funeral was largely attended and the floral offerings were many and very beautiful.


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