The Trek and Mr. Bennett
The Western Socialist
Perhaps nothing illustrates the phenomenal growth of Capitalism in this country than the
trek of the B.C. Relief Camp strikers. Little more than a generation ago the pioneers of
Canada were lured westward with the magic watchword “Go west, young man, and grow
up with the country”, and today the plight of their sons compels them to turn their faces
toward the east, not in search of new horizons, but for a more generous dole. Truly
According to press reports, their journey eastwards became one long triumphal tour, the
good Babbitts of the towns and hamlets en route all seemingly striving to outdo each
other in their welcome and in the celerity with which they provided arrangements to
speed them on their way. The men were adding to their numbers as they moved along and
a contingent of more than 1,000 was expected to join them in Winnipeg, where 4,700
single men are on relief.
Meanwhile, the prospects of having the nation’s capital cluttered up with destitute
workers did not appeal to the Dominion authorities, so the trek was halted at Regina
while their representatives presented their grievances to the entire cabinet at Ottawa.
Upon the arrival of the delegation, Mr. Bennett listened to their demands for work and
wages, etc., and flatly rejected the lot. He engaged in a dispute over the “criminal record”
of one of the delegates, and announced that no movement against constituted authority
would be tolerated by his government. At the moment of writing the main body at Regina
are preparing to continue their journey.
Up to now the trekkers have had the “sympathy” of “that great power, public opinion”,
provincial and civic authorities, for reasons of their own, showing “consideration!” for
their cause. It should not be forgotten, however, that this consideration can quickly be
turned into bitter hostility. The government is still a capitalist government, and the armed
forces of the nation are still under the domination of the capitalist class. Control of
political power, given it by the working class itself at election time, secures this
However the Relief Camp strikers may fare in the future (and they have our best wishes),
of this only can we be certain, that so long as the capitalist class dominate the state there
can be no security for the workers, but only frustration and misery. Socialism alone will
solve their problem and bring the dawn of a new day for humanity. Toward this objective
we of the S.P. of C. invite you to join us.