Social Crediters of French Canada feel the wind in their sails. They were in high spirits at their annual Congress, at St. Georges, last September. There has been no cooling down; and this Spring, they are launching what they call an all-out effort to build up an irresistible force to demand Social Credit.
"L'effort total" is their 1954 slogan. And this is not an academic phrase for them. It means what the words say: a total effort.
600 active supporters - "Conquerors" as they call them — were contacted by the directors of the Institute of Political Action, in closed meetings held in key places of Quebec, French Ontario and French New Brunswick. A general plan for a period of two years was adopted, and a more detailed one tackled immediately for the coming three months.
To bring the number of pledged "Conquerors" from 700 up to 4,000, and the number of organized groups of week-end canvassers up to 100 (meaning 600 canvassers), was the first objective set for this very Summer. And the response of the first month leaves no doubt about the realization.
The line of action adopted by the Institute remains the same: Conquer minds to the philosophy and policy of Social Credit; and to this end, multiply the readers of the paper published by the Institute.
There are about 800,000 French-Speaking families in Eastern Canada. The Institute aims to have Vers Demain reaching 150,000 of them regularly, meaning an average of 3,000 subscriptions a week. It is believed that this would be more than is wanted to have Social Credit prevail everywhere, even with legislators, without having to set up a political party.
3,000 subscriptions a week may seem an extravagant dream. But the leaders of the movement hope it may become a reality before the end of the two-year plan.
For the last ten consecutive weeks, the number of subscriptions entered for Vers Demain was as follows:
This shows a steady work by the present "Conquerors". The high figure of 2,509 belongs to a week when a special effort was put out by Social Crediters to mark the birthday of their director, Mr. Louis Even. But even that week had only seven days. It was also before the launching of the "total effort" phase: 2,509 is not so very far from 3,000. It shows what could be done with a force we plan to multiply by three within a year...
The next annual Congress
Social Crediters of French Canada will hold their Congress this year at Jonquière.
This is by no means the geographical center of the province. 130 miles of forest and mountains separate this "kingdom of Saguenay" from the rest of Quebec. But an A-1 highway makes it an easy drive in a wild and beautiful region, the Laurentide Park forest reservation.
The return trip, plus the 170-mile parade of the third day around the immense St. John Lake, will mean for Montrealers a total run of about 800 miles. For the Abitibi Social Crediters, the mileage will approximate 1,650.
But the distance is of little account for the fiery Social Crediters of Quebec; and the attendance might well better by four to one the spectacular demonstration of last year.
Outsiders may be interested to know that Jonquière is situated only four miles from Arvida. The latter name will evoke for many the name of a world-famous aluminum plant, and the no less famous Shipshaw dam with its 1,200,000 horsepower battery of turbines.
But the place has been elected for the Social Credit Congress of September 4-5-6, because of the high percentage of Social Crediters in the district. It is most encouraging to obtain the large amount of local collaboration needed for gatherings of that kind and of that size.