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Authors and publishers on the offensive: the Canadian copyright act of 1921 and the publishing industry 1920-1930.

What the 1925 Special Committee Discovered about the Book Industry

For printers, licensing was a weapon in their fight with American publishers and printers. So argued the elderly bete noire of the authors, Dan A. Rose of Hunter, Rose, who had helped organize the Canadian Copyright Association in 1888 to oppose Canada's adherence to the Berne Convention and to champion the manufacturing clause. Ever faithful to John A. Macdonald's National Policy, Rose told the special committee, "The fight today is between the Canadian publisher--not the Canadian book jobber--but the Canadian publisher and the United States publisher. The United States publisher has this market and is fighting every day to stop the printing of books in Canada. The jobbers [Rose meant publishers like McClelland and Stewart] went so far as to threaten at a meeting to blacklist any printer who dared apply for a license." (77)

J.A.P. Haydon used this argument to criticize Leacock's "very serious threat against the industry," because this was a fight between foreign publishers and printers, and Canadian printers and the Canadian printing industry. (78) The printers had not forgotten the recent depression in the industry and the general strike of 1921, which created unemployment and left the industry without skilled persons. For Rose, authors' rights were a secondary consideration, and at the committee hearings he was pressed by Edgar Chevrier into admitting that no authors belonged to his Canadian Copyright Association, which was "a combination of printers and publishers:"

Chevrier: You mean this Copyright Association has no authors in it?

Rose: Quite possible.

Chevrier: What is the purpose of the Copyright Association?

Rose: To prepare a fair act for the protection of authors.

Chevrier: But you have no authors in your association?

Rose: None.

Fernand Rinfret: This whole thing is a farce.

Chevrier: When you discuss the legislation with your government, where do you get the authors' viewpoint from?

Rose: Our first connection starts away back in the days of Sir John Thompson---

Chevrier: There is no necessity to go back before the flood. (79)

Licensing also divided the Publishers' Section and provoked internal conflicts in at least two publishing houses. The special committee pointed out that two publishers, Dan A. Rose and the Musson Book Company, supported licensing, and demanded to know the official view. As chairman of the twelve-member Book Publishers' Section and also as spokesman for Musson, Frank Appleton admitted that he was speaking for a minority of three firms that supported retention of the clauses. (80) These were Hunter, Rose; Musson; and Ryerson Press; and a fourth house that did not belong to the Book Publishers' Section, Copp Clark. All four houses belonged to Rose's Canadian Copyright Association. Copp Clark; Hunter, Rose; and Ryerson Press maintained large printing plants. Because Musson did not have a printing plant, Appleton's support for licensing looked as if he were supporting both sides. Several days later, however, after discussions at Musson, Appleton sent a telegram (which he followed up with a letter) to the special committee. He had concluded that the licensing clauses would not operate like a manufacturing clause, and now stated that:
   these clauses may be injurious to the interests of authors and
   publishers. While publishers should print in Canada whenever it is
   practicable to do so, it is possible that if the book licensing
   clauses come into actual operation, of which we have had no
   experience yet, they may demoralize the book publishing trade to
   authors [sic] detriment. Magazine serial licenses are on a
   different footing and do not affect book publishers. Stricter
   importation regulations would do much to make printing of Canadian
   editions feasible. (81)

Appleton then withdrew his previous evidence. Recalled before the committee, he stated that C.J. Musson considered licensing a risk, but an acceptable one that would redound to the larger benefit of the Canadian industry. Furthermore, he believed that "legitimate publishing interests" would be guarded, provided "that no compulsory license should be granted for an edition of less than 2,000 copies." (82)

At the Methodist Book and Publishing House there were angry words between the printing department and the trade-publishing arm, Ryerson Press. It turned publicly embarrassing when Wallace Sutherland of the Toronto Typothetae read a telegram of support for licensing from William Cope, the printing superintendent at the Methodist House. (83) Next, E. Blake Robertson claimed he represented Ryerson as well as makers of phonograph records and radio broadcasters. (84) This elicited a letter (dated 11 April 1925) from writer Thomas G. Marquis of the editing and sales departments at Ryerson, who stated that Dr. Samuel Wesley Fallis, the book steward, did not know Robertson, who in any event did not represent Ryerson Press. Marquis included in his letter a short note from Lorne Pierce, the editor and literary advisor, which demanded revision of the copyright law. (85) Fallis quickly repudiated Marquis's letter, but had no intention of repudiating Cope's telegram. Like C.J. Musson, Fallis was certain that an author and his/her publisher could effectively deny a licence and concluded that the authors "are making a great ado about nothing, sincerely no doubt, but nevertheless misguided." Fallis thought that "the clauses are designed in the national interest to create work within Canada, which otherwise would be done outside," (86) and he was prepared to let them stand. Fallis spoke from his experience of a bitter printers' strike in 1921 at the Methodist plant. The situation frustrated Lorne Pierce, who had wanted an in-house discussion of copyright and recorded in his diary, "Parliament appt'd a commission and sure enough we were at the centre of a squabble and not a policy to meet it." (87)

Not for the first time nor for the last, the twelve-member Publishers' Section had divided over publishing and manufacturing issues. This most recent rift was resolved when Hugh Eayrs and John McClelland persuaded the Publishers' Section to support the CAA. Sandwell worked on strategy with the publishers' legal counsel, George M. Kelley, who told the special committee that "there is complete identity between the authors and the publishers, and until the Canadian Authors' Association was formed it was this section that represented the authors before Parliament and that opposed what the authors deemed offensive in the bill--Bill 'E' in 1919, and that co-operated with the authors in 1921, and is still to-day acting in concert with them." (88) The publishers' unity was helped by the tendency in the new legislation toward the uniform treatment of all authors regardless of nationality.

Even though authors could feel more secure about their rights, (89) the penalties for infringement were piddling. The 1931 Amendment discriminated more against composers and dramatists than writers; in fact, the main infringements of copyright in the 1920s had concerned non-payment of royalties for theatrical performances, radio and record reproduction of copyrighted music, and the use of copyrighted music in silent films. The 1931 Amendment even exempted churches, schools, and fraternal organizations from paying royalties for non-profit performances, a gratuity not requested by these groups, and the Copyright Department was allowed to set the fees charged for performances of literary, dramatic, music, or artistic works. Performing rights continued to be a major stumbling block in copyright amendments throughout the 1930s. MP Charles William Bell (1876-1938), who was also a playwright, told the House that he received royalties from his plays performed on Broadway and in Germany, Austria, Italy, and China, but a Vancouver stock company "brazenly" refused to pay anything, and he received the same treatment from a Winnipeg stock company in the winter of 1930-31. (90) Ignoring the pleas of Bell and Louvigny de Montigny, Charles Cahan argued that the Copyright Act must not legislate in the area of criminal law, and the penalties were not substantially improved. He made no secret of his contempt for the Berne and Rome authorities, whose opinions "are not the findings of a judicial authority ... I refuse to regard their findings as anything else than the opinions of gentlemen who are without any jurisdiction in the matter." (91) Sandwell suggested that perhaps Cahan, "a staunch Protestant, was merely reminding Parliament that copyright in Canada is a purely temporal matter and that the Pope has no jurisdiction concerning it." More seriously, Sandwell warned that Canada's "procedure is not beneficial either to her good name abroad or to her self-respect at home. But if the paring down process goes too far it will ultimately lead to Canada's being read out of the Union for non-compliance with its terms." (92)

The Canadian Authors' Association succeeded in improving the 1921 Act and the 1923 Amendment, and won concessions to protect foreign and Canadian authors. At the special committee hearings, Louvigny de Montigny spoke on behalf of international authors as the representative of the Berne Convention. Madge Macbeth had argued that licensing clauses were not "ethical, and they are certainly not economic." (93) Leacock was unusually forceful in his assertion that copyright was for authors, not printers. American publishers still insisted that the Canadian market for British authors be included in the American rights, and American magazines with large Canadian circulations normally wanted to hold the Canadian rights. During the 1925 hearings, Leacock wrote to Paul Reynolds, his New York literary agent, about the "cordial relations" they both maintained with the International Magazine Company and MacLean's Magazine: "I don't know if you have followed this new law which permits Canadian magazines to force authors to give them their work. I have worked against it and have given evidence against it. I am afraid that the result will be that American editors will fight shy of our Canadian work." (94)

When printing in Canada was viable, licensing and infringements were unlikely, so the committee heard about precautions taken to prevent licence applications. In fact, no one licensed the work of a Canadian author during the 1920s. (95) The exclusive five-year "licence" that Stanley Paul & Co. of London gave McClelland and Stewart to print and publish Lord Beaverbrook's Success (1921) was a contract, not a compulsory licence provided by the 1921 Act. (96) For several years the Musson Book Company had arranged with Harper Brothers to print Zane Grey's popular western stories in Canada from plates owned by the New York publisher. The Call of the Canyon (1924) and The Thundering Herd (1925), for example, were printed by T.H. Best of Toronto. These novels, as well as Grey's The Mysterious Rider, To the Last Man, and The Wanderer of the Waste Land had runs of ten thousand copies, and reprints of some titles ran to twenty thousand. Musson also allocated to itself the printing of a Canadian work, Robert Stead's Smoking Flax (1924), for otherwise copies intended for the Canadian market would have been printed in the United States. In 1924 when Hunter, Rose applied for a licence to print Fanny Farmer's The Boston Cook Book, one of the most popular cook books ever published, its publisher, Little, Brown, responded immediately by reprinting its own edition in Canada. Dan A. Rose pointed out bitterly that Little, Brown sent its plates to Canada so that the cost of printing was a "bagatelle of the cost it would have cost the Canadian printer." (97) In 1925 McClelland and Stewart arranged with Dodd, Mead to rent plates for the Canadian edition of the prize-winning best-seller, Wield Geese, by Martha Ostenso, whom they considered a target for licensing because she was a Canadian residing in the United States. (98) The licensing sections were not removed from the law, but their impact was neutralized through such pre-emptive actions.

IV. The Market for Books, 1920-1930

Season by Season

The book industry shared in the general prosperity of the 1920s. Even competition for consumers' leisure time from the car, the radio, and the movies did not seriously hamper book sales. Still, prosperity was marked by alternating improvements and setbacks. The Winnipeg General Strike of 1919, a slight slump from 1920 to 1922, and a prolonged strike by printers in Toronto at this time compounded the problems of overproduction and overstocking of books that had developed at the end of the Great War. Even so, book prices kept rising--new novels cost $2.50 in the fall of 1920. (99) At the same time, John McClelland observed in the fall of 1921 that the number of new titles increased each year. (100) That year the Book Publishers' Section announced that its members would no longer ship books on consignment, ending the practice of rebates, exchanges, and returns for booksellers. (101) F.M. Alexander of Macmillan told Bookseller and Stationer that "the success from books of Canadian authorship, which was a feature of the years 1921 and 1922," was "due to a wave of reading spreading across the country." (102) Even though his boss Hugh Eayrs called late 192r and early 1922 a "darksome year," Macmillan sales were up 25 percent, and at Musson and at Hodder and Stoughton, which shared offices, sales were 143 percent ahead of 1921. (103) The serious fire that the Musson premises suffered in December 1920 was a factor in the latter figure.

The "wave of reading" extended well beyond belles lettres. McClelland and Stewart, representing the Norman W. Henley Publishing Company of New York, carried books on the construction of radio transmitters, the nature of vacuum tubes, the commercial uses of radio, and the formation of radio clubs for evening gatherings. As radio stations appeared in larger cities and towns, newspapers carried radio listings. For children, the Toronto Star sponsored a bedtime radio program based on Harper & Brothers' innovative Bubble Books, a series of eighteen books of rhyming nursery stories. Each book contained a sleeve with a Columbia record featuring songs of the stories. These books were carried by Harper's Canadian representative, Musson, and were as popular in Canada as in the United States. (104) Publishers were quick to advertise a novel when its movie version came to town, and to arrange for radio talks by authors. Booksellers were encouraged to feature special radio windows as they did for movies and other special events.

In 1922 authors were courted by New York motion-picture entrepreneur Ernest Shipman, whose Toronto representative was John A. Cooper, who had been editor of the Canadian Magazine at the turn of the century and of the Canadian Bookman in 1909-10 (no connection to Sandwell's Canadian Bookman). The Canadian-born Shipman (1871-1931), a theatrical promoter in New York and film producer in California, had a major success with the first Canadian feature movie, an adaptation of stories by James Oliver Curwood, entitled Back to God's Country (1919), which was produced in Calgary, Alberta. Shipman then set up production companies in several Canadian cities and produced Alan Sullivan's The Rapids and five of Ralph Connor's books: The Sky Pilot, The Man from Glengarry, Glengarry School Days, The Foreigner, and Corporal Cameron. He took out a full-page advertisement in the Canadian Bookman in October 1922, soliciting regional stories for "all-Canadian made pictures" (fig. 7). The stories had to be publishable or already published, and the settings that Shipman suggested harkened back to the regional stories popular in the previous twenty years. Shipman contemplated movie versions of the Bulldog Drummond novels by W.A. Fraser, stories by Douglas Durkin, and the prairie novels of Robert Stead. (105) His final Canadian movie was Frederick William Wallace's Blue Water, which was never released. (106) In the spring of 1923, Basil King, Robert Stead, and Marshall Saunders were among the Canadian delegates to the Great Motion Picture Conference held in New York. King related his frustrating experiences in Hollywood on a $6,000 contract to advise on the film production of his novel, The Dust Flower (New York: Harper, 1922). He made no profit from the film and the $6,000 only covered his expenses for the trip. He wanted nothing more to do with Hollywood: "The conflict seems to be on between art and business and for the moment, business has the strangle hold on art." Stead's impression was that "motion pictures are bad, that everybody knows it, and nobody has any idea how they may be improved." Saunders took several years to consent to a movie adaptation of Beautiful Joe, (107) and she and the producers disagreed so long that the motion picture was never made. In 1919 L.M. Montgomery's publisher L.C. Page deliberately sold the movie rights to Anne of Green Gables several months before she signed a new contract with him, and she made nothing on the 1919 film.


Because of the loss of consignments, bookseller William Tyrrell of Toronto persuaded booksellers to participate in a "clearing house" for overstocked books (mainly fiction) that could be exchanged or purchased by retailers and, beginning in January 1924, Tyrrell agreed to handle the details. (108) That same month, the Liberal government imposed a 6 percent manufacturers' sales tax on all goods manufactured in Canada as a way of paying off the war debts. (This was the tax that was replaced in 1991 by the Goods and Services Tax). John McClelland called it "a distinct and untimely handicap to business" given that the book trade was going through a period of "readjustment." (109) Instead of passing the cost on to consumers, the angry publishers absorbed part of it and billed the booksellers a surcharge for the rest. Although the tax was almost immediately removed from textbooks and books for public libraries, the new minister of finance, James A. Robb, was lobbied for more exemptions. When one group of delegates met Robb, he "listened politely, complimented them on the brevity and clarity of their case but said that the finances of the nation were in serious need of all funds." (110)

The book industry received international exposure in the exhibits sent by the Canadian government to the British Empire Exhibition held in July 1924 at Wembley Stadium in London. At the last minute, Ottawa provided money for the CAA to select books and bindings. George H. Locke of the Toronto Public Library collected about five hundred English-language books and Aegidius Fauteux, the librarian of Montreal's Bibliotheque Saint-Sulpice, prepared the French-language collection of a hundred titles. Regrettably, there was no room for the manuscripts offered by Dr. Arthur Doughty, the Dominion Archivist. (111) A huge literary map that marked the settings of novels, histories, and other books relating to Canada was featured at the exhibition. Paintings by the Group of Seven were also exhibited abroad for the first time--the British public would have to wait until 2011 to admire them again in London. (112) In summer 1924, Bliss Carman became the first Canadian to read his poetry on the British Broadcasting Corporation "wireless." (113) In 1925, the CPR's London office released a list of Canadian books on history and biography, travel and social conditions, agriculture and emigration, and fiction and literature.

By 1926 the book trade had entered a new period of prosperity, and it was a peak year for Canadian titles. At a dinner given by the book publishers for the Canadian Association of Booksellers and Stationers, guest speaker Frederick Melcher, the editor of Publishers' Weekly, claimed that modern inventions such as cars, radio, and movies made people curious and encouraged them to ready Publishers reported that a large variety of books besides fiction were in demand at bookstores and libraries. (115) Book clubs took the United States by storm in 1926. They increased the sale of popular books, especially in regions where bookshops were scarce, and helped readers navigate the mountains of books published each year. Publishers and book organizations signed up members who agreed to purchase a minimum number of books each year from the wide choices offered at discounts on the retail price. The best known was the Book of the Month Club, begun in 1926 by Harry Scherman, Max Sackheim, and Robert Haas of New York. Discovering that there were many Canadian subscribers to the American clubs, Eaton's began the first club in Canada in the summer of 1927. Known as the Canadian Book of the Month Club, its youthful editor, Cecil John Eustace (1903-72), had recently left his post as editor of Bookseller and Stationer, and would go on to have a long career as educational editor at J.M. Dent & Sons' Canadian subsidiary from 1931 to his retirement as president in 1967. Eustace's selection committee included two professors of English at University College (University of Toronto), W.J. Alexander and John Ford Macdonald; the Eaton's book advisor, Norah Thomson; and the second Lady Willison (writer and feminist Marjorie MacMurchy). The first book on the list of selections was Frederick Philip Grove's Our Daily Bread (1928).

There was room for the book clubs because the good times were back, apparently for a long run. In the spring of 1928 the publishers inaugurated a series of nine lectures at Toronto's Baldwin House to promote careers in the book trade. (116) Frederick Melcher's visit undoubtedly influenced him to issue the first Canadian number of Publishers' Weekly on 23 June 1928. The issue featured Norah Thomson's "Illustrated Books that Interpret the Canadian Spirit," Margaret Ray's "Canadian Bookshelf for American Tourists," William Tyrrell's "Some Aspects of Bookselling in Canada," and Lisgar Lang's "The Booktrade in Western Canada." In the lead article, "The Past and Future of Canadian Publishing," Hugh Eayrs estimated that "English-speaking publishing in Canada, in both domestic and imported books, controls a turnover of roughly five million dollars." (117) Later that year Eayrs pointed out that the book business "is in a happier position at the present time than it has found itself for at least a period of 12 or 13 years," and observed that publishers' discounts to the trade were now a minimum of 33 1/3 percent compared to the 20 to 25 percent discount in 1914, even though booksellers were demanding 40 percent. (118)

Marketing British and American Books in Canada

The Toronto trade publishers could not survive on the sales of Canadian books alone but relied on American and British books, whether classics, reference works, novels, children's books, or text books. Toronto houses met consumer demand as the agents and representatives of foreign publishers or, in many instances, as the managers of subsidiaries of foreign houses. Some publishers were content to be importers and distributors, but a handful aspired to be publishers in their own right and hoped that the new copyright law would facilitate new arrangements with their foreign principals. There were impediments to this goal, however. World rights were jealously retained by British and American publishers, who were unwilling to deal Canadian houses anything more than Canadian rights.

Buying Around

The Toronto houses also faced the practice of "buying around." The 1921 Act unintentionally prolonged an old problem: who among the Canadian booksellers and publishers could import copies of a work from abroad? In the nineteenth century, the trouble had been open US piracy and the welter of unauthorized editions it had permitted; now the problem was one of authorized editions meant for different jurisdictions. A firm in possession of the Canadian copyright of a work was supposed to be the exclusive Canadian supplier of it; often, this "supply" consisted of importing a particular edition from a foreign publisher. One difficulty was that Canadian booksellers could bypass the local supplier and import that edition themselves. Another was that there were other legal editions authorized for other markets--the United Kingdom and countries adhering to the Berne Convention--and booksellers could get their hands on those, too.

Hugh Eayrs attempted to stop this practice. In 1924 Russell, Lang, a major western bookseller located in Winnipeg, tried to import an abridged version of H.G. Wells's The Outline of History, entitled A Short History of the World, which was issued in paper covers by an English house, the Labour Publishing Company. Eayrs insisted that Russell, Lang must take the Macmillan Company of Canada's American edition, which sold for four dollars. Russell, Lang told the 1925 special committee that this was "a real hardship for the working man" (119) because they could sell the paper edition for fifty cents. In a similar case, Eayrs and Lisgar Lang of Russell, Lang corresponded over the fact that Canadians did not want to pay $2.50 for the American edition of Michael Arlen's The Green Hat when the same book could be ordered directly from England for 7s 6d (about $1.90). Lang argued that, like hundreds of private individuals across the country, he wanted the option of ordering one to ten copies of a work from English jobbers. Eayrs was conciliatory, arguing that he often was forced to import the American edition from the Macmillan Company of New York and told to market it at $2.50. (120) When bookseller A.H. Jarvis of Ottawa bypassed Eayrs and ordered books from Macmillan and Company in London, he was directed to the New York house, and Eayrs threatened court action. As president of the Canadian Booksellers and Stationers' Association, Jarvis complained to the 1925 special committee. His letter, like Russell, Lang's, was one of the few submissions made on behalf of retailers and consumers.

Booksellers ordered books from British jobbers for faster service and a better wholesale price. The jobbers normally bought large quantities of a work from a publisher and then sold it in smaller quantities to retailers across Britain and the Empire, sometimes in ignorance of copyright arrangements in particular jurisdictions such as Canada. Furthermore, as Eayrs pointed out, Toronto publishers were frequently told that they must distribute the American edition, because authors and their literary agents often bowed to the American publisher's demand to control the Canadian market. "This is why the Canadian bookstores to-day are flooded with books by British authors but bearing the U.S.A. imprints," (121) Russell, Lang informed the special committee. It did not matter that booksellers and their customers often preferred the British edition, especially the inexpensive colonial editions intended for the Empire. (122)

The 1921 Act, like the 1900 Amendment before it, tried to balance the protection of business arrangements with the rights of individuals when it came to the choice of books from abroad. The 1900 Amendment had included an exception permitting public and institutional libraries to import two copies of a copyrighted work. The 1921 Act preserved this exception in section 27, sub-section 3, clauses (a) and (d), which stated that "it shall be lawful for any person:"
   (a) To import for his own use not more than two copies of any
   work published in any country adhering to the Convention; ...
   (d) To import any book lawfully printed in the United Kingdom or in
   a foreign country which has adhered to the Convention and the
   Additional Protocol thereto set out in the second Schedule to this
   Act, and published for circulation among, and sale to the public
   within either; provided that any officer of the Customs, may in his
   discretion, require any person seeking to import any work under
   this section to produce satisfactory evidence of the facts
   necessary to establish his right to import.

The practice of buying around sprang from these clauses. Clause (d) was "tacked on" at the committee stage following second reading, perhaps to provide an opening for booksellers. S.B. Watson, chair of the Book Publishers' Section, and Hugh Eayrs explained these sections to the June 1924 convention of the Canadian Booksellers and Stationers' Association. When Watson asked for advice about the right of booksellers to import books lawfully printed in the United Kingdom, including colonial editions, George M. Kelley, the counsel for the Publishers' Section, wrote Watson on 14 October 1924, "I find it very difficult to come to a definite conclusion owing to the apparent contradiction in the provisions of the Copyright Act on this point." He pointed out that there was slippage between the terms, "work" and "book," and that clause (a) really meant "not more than two copies of a book." He also wrote that clause (d) "would practically destroy the benefit of Canadian copyright except as to books published in the United States." Kelley believed that colonial editions, which were printed in the United Kingdom for the overseas dominions only, could also be prohibited in Canada; if, however, any of these editions were offered for sale in the United Kingdom, then they could be imported into Canada. (123) Watson conveyed this information to A.H. Jarvis, president of the Booksellers' and Stationers' Association, and he made sure his letter was published in Bookseller and Stationer. Watson said the publishers decided that clause (d) must mean that only one copy could be imported, in order to be consistent with clause (a). (124) The solution might depend on a court decision, although Watson did not say this in his letter.

Similar conflicts over authorized editions for the Canadian market occurred among publishers themselves. In light of the 1923 Amendment, American publishers now insisted that their editions of British authors should prevail in Canada. Lytton Strachey, author of Queen Victoria (1921), was persuaded by his friend John Maynard Keynes to leave G.P. Putnam's Sons for Harcourt, Brace, who insisted that they receive the Canadian rights for the book if they were to pay Strachey ten thousand dollars (US); Strachey's London publisher, Chatto and Windus, agreed. (125) In 1928, when Bernard Shaw tried to give Montreal publisher Louis Carrier the Canadian rights for The Intelligent Woman's Guide to Socialism, Eayrs insisted that the Macmillan Company of Canada was its legitimate agent, and he dragged Carrier through the courts in a prolonged case that contributed to Carrier's bankruptcy in 1931.

At an informal meeting in Toronto between booksellers and publishers in January 1925, the booksellers argued that if publishers enforced their privilege of prohibiting all imports of British editions over the authorized American, they could abuse their monopoly by charging high prices, which would not encourage healthy competition among booksellers. The publishers responded by claiming that they had fewer copyright privileges than American and British publishers. (126) It was agreed that foreign publishers were the ones who decided which edition would be carried in Canada, and that "the practical application of this means that the Canadian bookseller will not have the right to exercise his choice in the matter of editions." (127) However, by increasing their sales to Canadian retailers, British jobbers perpetuated the problem of buying around.

Apart from this exception, the new copyright laws simplified doing business in Canada, and British and American competition for this prospering market increased. After the Great War British publishers complained that they were losing ground to the Americans (see table 1). T. Fisher Unwin wrote to Bookseller and Stationer in September 1919 blaming the wartime interruption of communications between Canada and Britain. He advised British publishers to permit Canadians to import sheets and bound books from Britain, which would provide work for British instead of American printers. (128) In 1919 Thomas Young of Cassell's office in Toronto imported Cassell's London edition of Ethel M. Dell's Tidal Wave, and he instructed his colleagues at McClelland and Stewart to stop entry of the American edition unless Cassell received a royalty. (129) The next year McClelland and Stewart's edition of Dell's The Tap of the World (1920) was printed in Toronto, probably from plates supplied from London. In The Truth about Publishing (1926), Unwin's son Stanley Unwin lamented the tendency of literary agents to include Canada with the American market. He noted the declining exports of British cloth-bound colonial editions but was pleased to see that Canadian publishers were anxious to purchase Canadian editions from British publishers. (130) Still, the overall extent of the American penetration of the Canadian market is further revealed by the total imports of books and printed matter for 1928 (see table 2).

Marketing Canadian Books

In the 1920s Canadian authors and their literary agents began insisting on a Canadian imprint in arrangements between local and foreign houses. Patriotism partly drove this pattern, but it also made good business sense, as John McClelland had claimed. Drawing on his own experience before the 1925 special committee, John Murray Gibbon described how Canadian authors and publishers worked with American publishers:
   The usual practice of the Canadian author of fiction is to submit
   his manuscript to a Canadian publisher, who in most cases is
   located in Toronto, and who, if he likes the manuscript, will enter
   into negotiations for publication. Except in the case of a very
   popular Canadian author the Canadian market rarely exceeds 2,000
   copies, and the cost of setting-up and printing in Canada is so
   high that an average work of fiction could not be profitably
   produced or marketed at the standard price for new fiction, namely
   $2. That is generally the price for the work of fiction at present,
   both in Canada and the United States. The Canadian publisher, who
   is in almost every case affiliated with the American publisher,
   goes to his American affiliations to see if he can persuade the
   American house to take up his book and print an edition for the
   United States and he will purchase from the American publisher
   2,000 copies, with the imprint of his own name as Canadian
   publisher, at a price which will enable him to sell it in Canada at
   the $2. figure ... I got royalties from both the Canadian and
   American houses. I certainly did on my last book. It depends on
   your contract. (133)

Gibbon also explained why American publishers would risk publication of 5,000 copies if they could share the Canadian edition:
   [George] Doran will refuse to even look at a book unless he sees a
   printing order for a minimum of 5,000 copies. But if they have the
   Canadian sale of 2,000 copies they will generally take a chance on
   the balance of 3,000, knowing the Canadian order for 2,000 would
   cover the printing cost, although not all of the publishing costs,
   which are, as a matter of fact, very large. Now that is the actual
   practice of, I should say, 90 per cent of the Canadian authors of
   fiction. The extremely successful Canadian author goes direct to
   the American without bothering about any printing by the Canadian
   house ... the Canadian and American book publishers are extremely
   friendly, and agree to divide the market, the Canadian publisher
   handling the Canadian distribution and the American the American
   distribution. (134)

What distinguishes the 1920s from earlier periods was the realization that Canadian authors, as well as foreign authors, could be marketed profitably with a Toronto imprint.

The Agency System

Nineteenth-century practices, whereby a Canadian bookseller sourced an edition from abroad for sale in his local territory, evolved into contracts, whereby the Canadian publisher ("the agent") imported and distributed the books of a foreign house ("the principal") with the additional right and responsibility to prevent all other importation of them. By 1920 the hope was that the profits from such arrangements --known as the agency system--would lead to more collaboration between the foreign publisher and the local house to publish original Canadian writing. As far as "agency books" were concerned, the Toronto publisher had nothing to do with production but was simply the importer/distributor. As long as the principal and the agent were satisfied, the relationship could run smoothly for years. Difficulties arose when an agency was transferred from one local house to a competitor, often because of rearrangements abroad. In such cases, authors usually made the transfer from the old representative to the new one. Knopf shifted its agency from Ryerson to Macmillan in 1922 and back to Ryerson ten years later. All the major houses--Copp Clark, S.B. Gundy, McClelland and Stewart, the Musson Book Company, Ryerson Press, and even the British-owned Macmillan Company of Canada--accumulated agencies by the dozen. Young men got their start in publishing by taking on several agencies, often through friendships they made in their previous employment. In September 1926, for example, John Irwin left Oxford University Press to join H.K. Gordon; within two months Irwin & Gordon advertised that they held the agencies for eighteen American houses. Their first books included Thornton Wilder's The Cabala and Will Durrant's The Story of Philosophy. The proliferation of agencies among Toronto publishers, in fact, was so remarkable that for most of the twentieth century many in the trade, as well as readers, considered agencies the predominant feature of the Canadian industry.

The success of the agency system created its own problems. More agencies in a house meant less time was devoted to each agency. Moreover, the terrain grew complicated as subsidiaries also acquired agencies. For example, in 1923 Thomas Nelson & Sons became the Canadian representatives for Butterworth, Jonathan Cape, and Methuen's educational publications (fig. 8). (135) In 1928, Hugh Eayrs told Publishers' Weekly, "There never was a time when the business of the Canadian agent of the United States or British publisher was more of a gamble than it is at present." (136)



In contrast to an agent, a subsidiary was the local branch of a foreign publishing company that was owned and more or less controlled by it. Visiting Toronto in 1925, London publisher Jonathan Cape remarked on the importance of subsidiaries in Canada. Contending that British publishers and authors had taken a renewed interest in Canada and wished to keep their Canadian rights separate from the American rights, he observed, "One has only to consider the large number of British publishers who have branch houses in Canada." (137) Among these subsidiaries was Longmans, Green, established in 1922 by the American-born Edward Pike (1886-1953). Pike had come to Canada in 1915, worked as a salesman for the Macmillan Company of Canada, and in 1917 become the Canadian traveller for Longmans' American branch. As head of the Canadian branch, he imported the popular Fairy Books edited by Andrew Lang and George M. Trevelyan's British History in the Nineteenth Century. While still managing Longmans, Green, Pike was appointed the manager of Doubleday, Doran for a brief period in 1935-36, and became the manager of J.B. Lippincott's new Toronto branch in 1937. Between 1943 and 1948 he was sales manager of the American branch of Longmans, Green, in New York; thereafter he returned to Toronto and managed that branch again until his death in 1953. (138) For many years, like many subsidiaries, Longmans, Green chiefly imported its own books and then arranged to publish some of its British and American titles in Canada. During the Second World War it expanded into textbooks for the Canadian market, concentrating on social studies, geography, and literature. One of Pike's best-known Canadian authors was newspaper editor Bruce Hutchison, whose books, The Unknown Country (1943) and The Incredible Canadian (1952), the latter a biography of Mackenzie King, won the Governor-General's Award for non-fiction.

When William Collins & Son incorporated its branch in Canada in 1932, the prior agent, William Bonnellie, was replaced by the new subsidiary manager, Frank F. Appleton. Appleton (1893-1951) began his career as an apprentice in the famous Toronto bookstore of his uncle Albert Britnell. He joined the Musson Book Company in 1912 and returned to Musson after serving overseas in the Great War. He left Musson in 1929 to become vice-president at George J. McLeod but stayed only three years before taking up the reins at Collins. Appleton remained with Collins until his retirement in 1947 and was instrumental in developing its Canadian publishing program in the 1930s and through the Second World War.

Occasionally British travellers established their own houses after exposure to the Canadian market. S.J. Reginald Saunders (1898-1945) began his annual trips across Canada for a group of British book and stationery firms in 1928. The next year he was based in Toronto as the representative of the London houses of Methuen and Frederick Warne, and by 1931 he was conducting business under his own name. In the middle of the 1930s Saunders published the popular Toronto Star columnist Gregory Clark, local colourist and librarian Angus Mowat, and the young Canadian Broadcasting Corporation reporter Matthew Halton. Saunders was one of the first publishers to take to the air on his regular sales trips, and by 1939 he had flown more than twenty thousand miles on the new Trans Canada Airlines. During the Second World War, Saunders expanded his publishing program with Canadian editions of H.V. Morton's popular travel books and the best-selling novels of C.S. Forester. After his unexpected death from a heart attack in the summer of 1945, his wife, Ila, and Victor Knight conducted the firm until 1955, when Thomas Alien & Son acquired control. At that point, Thomas Allen's son Robert became president of Saunders and his brother John became president of Thomas Allen.

The ties that foreign companies developed with Canadian houses could shift in complicated ways between agency and subsidiary. For example, McClelland and Stewart possessed the agency of Dodd, Mead of New York, and when the latter established a Canadian subsidiary in 1925, McClelland and Stewart continued to manage it. The same arrangement unfolded with Cassell when it opened a Canadian subsidiary in 1929. The Canadian manager of J.M. Dent & Sons, Henry Button, who worked in Dent's handsome showroom at 224 Bloor Street West (a replica of the London office, Aldine House), and his travellers were shared with McClelland and Stewart; after Button became ill in 1935, J.M. Dent was reorganized as a subsidiary and managed by McClelland and Stewart until 1946. Although Dent published Canadian writers, its main efforts were its educational lines and the popular Everyman series. McClelland and Stewart had also managed the agency business of their friend, George H. Doran, since 1917, and in 1925 they became the managers of Doran's new Canadian subsidiary. In 1927, out of the blue came one of the most important rearrangements of the decade. Doran decided to retire and merge his business with Doubleday, Page in New York, which became Doubleday, Doran, & Co. In Canada their new branch was known as Doubleday, Doran, & Gundy from 1928 on. Doubleday, Page's representative, S.B. Gundy, moved the Doran office from 215 Victoria Street, McClelland and Stewart's address, to his premises on Richmond Street West, where he managed the Canadian branch of Oxford University Press. Although McClelland and Stewart lost the profitable Doran connection, they retained some of Doran's Canadian authors such as Ralph Connor. Thus events in New York could send ripples through the centre of the Canadian trade in Toronto.


Even if the "awakened national consciousness" that Hugh Eayrs observed in the early 1920s did not immediately result in the "national literature" that he and his fellow publishers believed was on the horizon, there was no doubt that Arthur Stringer's prediction of a "professional birth of Canadian letters" had taken place. The optimism, the expectations, and the enthusiasm in the comments of publishers, authors, and politicians suggest how widely held was the notion that a new era was underway. Canadian authors were achieving success abroad, Canadian publishers were reporting profits at home, and the two groups were sanguine about connecting with each other in mutually beneficial ways.

Great expectations were placed on the updated copyright laws. Their revision generated such anger among authors that they organized the Canadian Authors' Association in March 1921, and with the full support of the Book Publishers' Section of the Toronto Board of Trade they successfully obstructed the real implementation of the manufacturing clause. They also protested the government's right to license their books and those of American authors without their permission. Canadian printers, meanwhile, were determined to increase book production against the flow of American imports. In consequence, the government was caught between the demands of printers, publishers, authors, and booksellers at home and abroad. With the 1923 Amendment, Canada and the United States established a reciprocal copyright agreement, and the 1921 Act, separating Canada from British governance in copyright, was finally proclaimed on 1 January 1924. It remained the basis of the law until the late 1980s. The 1921 Act exacerbated the practice of "buying around," by which booksellers by-passed the Canadian copyright owner and purchased books directly from foreign jobbers. Publishers were accused of monopoly as booksellers tried to get the best price and the edition of choice for their customers. So overwhelming was the distribution of British and American books in Canada that booksellers claimed that Toronto houses, representing dozens of foreign publishers according to the agency system, were merely jobbers. Distributing foreign books, however, created profits to publish Canadian ones.

Canada was still a colonial market, even as book publishing was in the process of becoming an autonomous industry. First, Canadian publishers rarely held world rights for their authors, which meant that lucrative secondary rights (serialization, stage and film versions, and licences for book-club editions) were not part of their earnings. Second, the new copyright laws improved conditions not only for Canadian publishers but also for American publishers. Americans now gained copyright in Canada more easily than under the 1842 Act, and they established agencies and subsidiaries that increased American book exports to Canada. Finally, the British complained of the loss of the Canadian market to Americans, and tried to offset this imbalance by setting up their own subsidiaries. These, too, would publish Canadian books. As increasing numbers of these appeared, the Canadian Bookman constructively promoted the expanding culture of Canadian authorship, while the Canadian Forum positioned itself in contradistinction as the guardian of elite critical standards. Even so, the English-Canadian market continued to be divided by two powerful foreign countries. In 1925 publishers and booksellers recognized the "utter dependence of the Canadian market upon arrangements made outside of Canada." They acknowledged that in most cases the American publisher "is in a more advantageous position to exploit this market than a British firm, unless that firm has a branch of its own in the Dominion." (139)

All in all, the 1920s were an upbeat, optimistic period. Market reports through 1929 continued positive: the Great Depression seemed, at first glimpse, a merely temporary downturn. In December Bookseller and Stationer reported the leading trade opinion to be that "the recent stock crash will not in any real way affect the book buying season" and noted that "no less than three large publishers ... enjoyed the greatest volume of business in their history ... The retailers must necessarily feel an increase in business also." None could foresee that the industry's prosperity, rooted in the agency system, would suffer drastically in the 1930s or that the dream of original publishing would stall for at least a generation. "Anyone who talks of blue ruin in the book trade for the year 1929 in general or the fall season in particular must be unaware of the facts which are now coming to light." (140) The bullish remark is a fitting cap to what had been an energetic decade in the Canadian book trade.




L'un des facteurs qui contribua le plus a faconner le marche du livre de Toronto durant les annees 1920 fut sans contredit le sentiment patriotique ravive par la participation du Canada a la Premiere Guerre mondiale. Ce patriotisme a ouvert la voie a une demande croissante d'ouvrages traitant de la societe canadienne, ce a quoi les editeurs et les auteurs ne firent aucunement la sourde oreille. A cela s'ajoute la creation de la Canadian Authors' Association en vue de contester la Loi sur le droit d'auteur de 1921. Le CAA critiqua cette loi qui favorisait l'industrie de l'edition au detriment des droits d'auteur et mettait indument en peril la participation du Canada a la Convention de Berne. La Book Publishers' Section du Toronto Board of Trade appuyait les auteurs. De l'autre cote, les imprimeurs canadiens etaient determines a augmenter la production du marche interieur des livres pour faire face a la concurrence americaine. La Loi modificatrice du droit d'auteur de 1923 et l'entente concernant la propriete litteraire et artistique entre le Canada et les Etats-Unis garantissaient la protection pour tous les auteurs et elucidaient le role des agences (i.e., les accords en vertu desquels les editeurs canadiens vendaient les livres publies a l'origine a l'etranger). La loi de 1921 laissait somme toute dans une situation critique l'industrie du livre de Toronto, centre de distribution du Canada anglais. La production interieure des livres augmenta a court terme, mais la vente des livres etrangers ne diminua pas pour autant parce que les editeurs torontois continuaient de les acquerir exclusivement aupres d'agences appartenant a des editeurs britanniques et americains qui disposaient eux-memes de leurs propres filiales etablies au Canada. En outre, les libraires importaient des livres etrangers suivant une pratique d'achat parallele (evitant de passer par le vendeur canadien, le seul cense a le faire exclusivement). Durant les cinquante annees qui suivirent, des conflits surgirent periodiquement entre les detaillants et les editeurs. Comme le marche du livre canadien avait connu une nette amelioration de son volume d'activite jusqu'a la fin de 1929, il n'etait guere prepare par consequent a affronter la Grande Crise qui compromettra le developpement de cette industrie jusqu'a la moitie des annees 1950.

(1) This paper is the first part of a chapter of a book on the Toronto publishing industry in the twentieth century. This chapter describes the publication of Canadian books between 1920 and the Second World War, with a focus on McClelland and Stewart, Ryerson Press, and the Macmillan Company of Canada; it also deals with the effects of the Great Depression on the Toronto book trade.

(2) An Editor's Creed, (Toronto: Ryerson, 1960), 3-4.

(3) J. Murray Gibbon, "Where Is Canadian Literature?" Canadian Magazine 50 (February 1918), 338.

(4) Lorne Pierce, "Why a Canadian Author's Book Week?" Bookseller and Stationer and Office Equipment Journal [B & S] 37 (September 1921), 26.

(5) "New Head of Macmillans in Canada," Canadian Bookman 3 (June 1921), 49.

(6) Ian Ross Robertson, Sir Andrew Macphail: The Life and Legacy of a Man of Letters (Montreal & Kingston: McGill-Queen's University Press, 2008), 178.

(7) Ibid., 191.

(8) Stephen Leacock to Pelham Edgar, postmarked 12 February 1915, Pelham Edgar Fonds, series 1, box 2, file 12.10, Victoria University Library (Toronto), Special Collections.

(9) Pierce, Editor's Creed, 2.

(10) Hugh Eayrs, "Publishers Are Getting Over the Fear that Putting Out a Canadian Book Is Taking a Chance--Big Change Noticeable," B & S 28 (October 1922), 27.

(11) Leacock's biographers assign an unreliable date for this dinner. Ralph Curry, in Stephen Leacock: Humorist and Humanist (Garden City, NY: Doubleday, 1959), 145-47, says that the dinner of 7 December 1921 led to the founding of the CAA, but he provides no source. Leacock and his family, however, were in Great Britain and Europe in the fall and early winter of 1921-22. David M. Legate follows Curry in Stephen Leacock: A Biography (Toronto: Doubleday Canada, 1970), 112. Albert and Theresa Moritz say the "private dinner" took place "in the fall of 1921," in Stephen Leacock: His Remarkable Life (Toronto: Fitzhenry & Whiteside, 2002), 224. There is no mention of copyright or authors' events of late winter and spring 1921 in The Letters of Stephen Leacock, ed. David Staines (Toronto: Oxford University Press Canada, 2006). In any event, the copyright bill had first reading on 28 February 1921 and the authors formed the CAA on 11-12 March 1921.

(12) "Canada's Role in Literary World. Many Canadian Authors Discuss Future of Canadian Letters. Copyright Laws. Banquet Ends Convention at Which Authors' Society Founded," Montreal Daily Star, 12 March 1921, 1.

(13) Bliss Carman, The Letters of Bliss Carman, ed. H. Pearson Gundy (Kingston and Montreal: McGill-Queen's University Press, 1981), 328.

(14) Madge Macbeth, Boulevard Career (Ottawa: Kingswood House, 1957), 67.

(15) "96 Writers at Natal Banquet. Canadians as Interpreters between England and U.S., Basil King's View. Seeking Native Talent. Copyright Infringement by Indian Tribes 300 Years Ago Punishable by Death," Gazette (Montreal), 12 March 1921, 1.

(16) Watson Kirkconnell, "John Murray Gibbon," Proceedings and Transactions of the Royal Society of Canada, 3rd series, 66 (1953): 83.

(17) [B. K. Sandwell], "The New Era," Canadian Bookman 1 (January 1919), 3.

(18) Arthur Stringer, "Our Authors Get Together," MacLean's Magazine, 15 April 1921, 24.

(19) "Authors Discuss Copyright Law. Convention also Considers Formation of Craft Association. Dinner Tonight. Many Distinguished Writers Have Registered at Opening Meting [sic]," Montreal Daily Star, 11 Match 1921, 1. Prominent librarians included Grace Blackburn of London, Ontario; Hector Garneau of the Montreal Civic Library; George H. Locke of the Toronto Public Library; and W.S. Wallace of the University of Toronto Library. In addition to Pelham Edgar and Leacock were their friends: copyright expert James Mavor of Toronto; W.T. Allison of Winnipeg; Frank Oliver Call of Lennoxville; Archibald MacMechan of Halifax; and Leacock's McGill colleagues, Sir Andrew Macphail and Rene du Roure.

(20) "Canada's Role in Literary World," Montreal Daily Star, 12 March 1921, 1. This passage, with slight revision, became the first clause in the CAA constitution.

(21) In 1905-6 Louvigny de Montigny successfully tested the validity of the Berne Convention in Canada. See Shelley S. Beal, "'La fin du pillage des auteurs': Louvigny de Montigny's International Press Campaign for Authors' Rights in Canada," Papers of the Bibliographical Society of Canada / Cahiers de la Societe bibliographique du Canada, 43, no. 1 (2005): 45-64.

(22) Authors Offered Advice to Press," Gazette (Montreal), 12 March 1921, 5.

(23) "Books," B & S 37 (April 1921), 51.

(24) The autonomous French-language section remained within the larger organization until 1936, when French-language writers, under the impetus of Professor Jean Bruchesi of Montreal, organized as La Societe des Ecrivains Canadiens, and elected Victor Barbeau as their first president. Their mouthpiece was the Bulletin bibliographique de la Societe des ecrivains canadiens.

(25) For extended discussions, see Mary Vipond, "The Canadian Authors' Association in the 1920s: A Case Study in Cultural Nationalism," Journal of Canadian Studies / Revue d'etudes canadiennes 15 (1980): 68-79; and John Watt Lennox, "New Eras: B.K. Sandwell and the Canadian Authors' Association, 1919-1922," English Studies in Canada 7 (1981): 93-103.

(26) Stringer, "Our Authors Get Together," 25.

(27) "96 Writers at Natal Banquet," 1.

(28) "Canada's Role in Literary World. Many Canadian Authors Discuss Future of Canadian Letters. Copyright Laws. Banquet Ends Convention at Which Authors' Society Founded," Montreal Daily Star, 12 March 1921, 1.

(29) Macbeth, Boulevard Career, 66.

(30) Carman, Letters, 274.

(31) Stringer, "Our Authors Get Together," 25.

(32) "Gathering in the Authors," Canadian Bookman 3 (September 1921), 22-24.

(33) Ibid., 22. Representing an older literary establishment, the CSA executive consisted of the honorary president, Sir Edmund Walker, philanthropist and retired president of the Canadian Bank of Commerce; the president, Sir Robert Falconer, also president of the University of Toronto; the vice-president, J. Castell Hopkins, a prolific journalist; William Lawson Grant, headmaster of Upper Canada College; and Sir John Willison, editor of the Toronto News. Although these men were influential in financial and social circles and possessed reputations that guaranteed them access to cabinet ministers, they were not fired by the same sense of urgency as Gibbon, Macbeth, Sandwell, and Stringer.

(34) Macbeth, Boulevard Career, 64.

(35) Hugh S. Eayrs, The Barometer Points to Change (Toronto: Macmillan Company of Canada, 1938), 1.

(36) Ruth Panofsky, The Literary Legacy of the Macmillan Company of Canada: Making Books and Mapping Culture (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2012), 115-16.

(37) "Publishers--Authors--Booksellers," B & S 37 (May 1921), 40.

(38) "To Our Readers," Canadian Bookman 5 (January 1923), 24.

(39) "Publishers--Authors--Booksellers," 40.

(40) "Grievances of Booksellers Aired," B & S 37 (September 1921), 13-14.

(41) Advertisement in B & S 37 (October 1921).

(42) "Poet Crowned with Wreath of Laurel," Gazette (Montreal), 29 October 1921, 7.

(43) "Writers Honor Mrs. M'Clung. Women Invade Sacred Precincts of Arts and Letters Club. Gathering of Notables," Globe (Toronto), 19 November 1921, 18.

(44) Margaret Jarvis, "'Canadian Book Week' in Toronto," Ontario Library Review 6 (August and November 1921): 7-9.

(45) "Editorial Comment (Publishers and Authors)," Canadian Forum 2 (December 1921), 452.

(46) Barker Fairley, "Artists and Authors," Canadian Forum 1 (December 1921), 460-61.

(47) Note in Canadian Forum 1 (May 1921), 230.

(48) "Strange Fugitive," Canadian Bookman 10 (September 1928), 280. Grossett & Dunlap published a cheap edition of Strange Fugitive in 1930.

(49) "Canadian Authors Hold Annual Gathering in Toronto," B & S 47 (July 1931), 36.

(50) Clara Thomas and John Watt Lennox, William Arthur Deacon: A Canadian Literary Life (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1982), 10.

(51) Ibid., 24.

(52) For more on Canada's entanglement in nineteenth-century copyright law, see Catherine Seville, The Internationalisation of Copyright Law: Books, Buccaneers and the Black Flag in the Nineteenth Century (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2006); and Eli MacLaren, Dominion and Agency: Copyright and the Structuring of the Canadian Book Trade, 1867-1918 (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2011).

(53) Great Britain, Imperial Copyright Conference, 1910 (London: HMSO, 1910), 6.

(54) "Want Copyright Protection," B & S 35 (February 1919), 47.

(55) The American lawyer Nathan Burkan, counsel for the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers, described for the House of Commons Special Committee on Copyright Lieutenant Gitz (Ingraham) Rice's efforts to obtain his royalties. When the American court awarded Rice his royalties, Columbia appealed and argued it would not pay royalties on the records manufactured in Canada, but Burkan successfully argued that these records were made from a master produced in the United States and imported into Canada. After a second appeal by Columbia, the court upheld the original decision to pay the royalties. Canada, House of Commons, Special Committee, Bill No. 2 re Copyright Act, Proceedings of the Special Committee Appointed to Consider and Report upon Bill No. 2, an Act to Amend and Make Operative Certain Provisions of the Copyright Act, 1921, Comprising the Order of Reference, Reports of the Committee Presented to the House, and the Evidence Taken before the Committee (Ottawa: King's Printer, 1925), 217. Nova-Scotia-born Rice studied music at McGill University's Conservatory, went overseas in 1914 with the First Canadian Contingent, and fought in several battles. He had a reputation as a performer and played with the Dumbells briefly. His obituary claims that he played the piano at Christmas 1914 when the British and Germans sang carols across the trenches. Rice had a musical career in New York at the end of the war and into the 1920s. Edward B. Moogk, "Rice, Gitz (Ingraham)," Encylopedia of Music in Canada (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1981). 806-7; "Gitz Rice, Song Writer, Dies; Composer of Many Hit Numbers," Gazette (Montreal), 17 October 1947, 33.

(56) A.K Maclean, the acting minister of trade and commerce, sponsored Bill No. 150, An Act respecting the Patent Act, the Copyright Act, the Trade Mark and Design Act, and the Timber Marking Act, which received royal assent on 7 July 1919 (9-10 Geo. 5, c. 54).

(57) "Copyright Legislation Coming," B & S 35 (May 1919), 29.

(58) "Printers or Authors?" Canadian Bookman 1 (July 1919), 5-8; "The Copyright Law," Canadian Bookman 2 (July 1920), 3-5 (both editorials presumably by B.K. Sandwell).

(59) H.F. Gadsby, "Snuggling Up to the Lawmakers," Standard (Montreal), 6 May 1922. I am grateful to John Watt Lennox, who mentions this parody of the 1922 CAA annual convention in his paper, "New Eras."

(60) "The Copyright Law," Canadian Bookman 2 (July 1920), 4.

(61) Watson Kirkconnell, A Slice of Canada (Toronto: Published for Acadia University by the University of Toronto Press, 1967), 290.

(62) Canada, House of Commons, Debates, 1921, 3849-50.

(63) Canada, House of Commons, Debates, 1921, 3835.

(64) B.K. Sandwell, "The Canadian Copyright Act," Queen's Quarterly 29 (October 1921): 185.

(65) "Conflicting Views on Copyright Legislation: President D.A. Rose Takes Issue with Author," B & S 37 (May 1921), 28-29.

(66) Canada, House of Commons, Debates, 1923, 2288.

(67) Canada, House of Commons, Debates, 1923, 3155.

(68) "The Copyright Situation," Canadian Bookman 5 (August 1923), 207-8. This article reprints the article from Publishers' Weekly as well as a report by the National Association of Book Publishers.

(69) Carman, Letters, 310-11.

(70) "Copyright Legislation," Canadian Bookman 5 (November 1923), 309-10. This article is an English translation of "Canadian Copyright," which appeared in the September 1923 issue of Le Droit d'auteur.

(71) Canada, House of Commons, Special Committee, Bill No. 2 re Copyright Act ... 1921, Proceedings, 25.

(72) Kirkconnell, A Slice of Canada, 291-92.

(73) W.K. [Watson Kirkconnell?], "Authors' Association Meets," Canadian Bookman 7 (July 1925): 115.

(74) Kirkconnell, A Slice of Canada, 292.

(75) The Canadian delegates to the Rome Convention were Philippe Roy, Canada's ambassador to France, and Jean Desy, representing the Department of External Affairs. Lawrence J. Burpee prepared a typescript, "Report on the International Congress at Rome," probably for the Canadian Authors' Association. A copy is in the records of the Canadian Publishers' Council, Toronto, Book Publishers' Section (indexed by George Parker in carton 4, bundle 4, of the council records).

(76) Canada, House of Commons, Debates, 1931, 902 (Rinfret), 2396-97 (Chevrier), 2405 (Cahan).

(77) Canada, House of Commons, Special Committee, Bill No. 2 re Copyright Act ... 1921, Proceedings, 42-3.

(78) Ibid., 48.

(79) Ibid., 41-2.

(80) Ibid., 18.

(81) Ibid., 101.

(82) Ibid., 191.

(83) Ibid., 45. William Cope was identified as the author of the telegram on p. 255.

(84) Ibid., 106.

(85) Ibid., 239.

(86) Ibid., 255.

(87) Quoted in Janet Friskney, "The Years before Union: Samuel Fallis, Lorne Pierce, and The Ryerson Press, 1919-1926," Epilogue (1998): 30.

(88) Special Committee, Bill No. 2 re Copyright Act ... 1921, Proceedings, 54.

(89) The law was explained in CAA, Copyright in Canada (Ottawa: Ru-Mi-Lou Books, 1930), written by Lawrence J. Burpee and Louvigny de Montigny a year before the 1931 amendments were passed. De Montigny records that a Montreal director, Eugene Lasalle, had plagiarized and performed a French play, La passion, for years, and when the authors took him to court in Montreal, Lasalle was fined $10 (10). See also B. K. Sandwell, "The New Copyright Act," Canadian Authors' Bulletin 9 (September 193,), 35-37; and Donald French, "Copyright Simplified," Canadian Bookman 14 (March 1932), 31-32.

(90) Canada, House of Commons, Debates, 1931, 2411-12.

(91) Canada, House of Commons, Debates, 1931, 43.

(92) B.K. Sandwell, "Copyright and the Decisions of Rome," Canadian Forum n (June 1931), 330-31.

(93) Special Committee, Bill No. 2 re Copyright Act ... 1921, Proceedings, 182.

(94) Leacock, Letters, 174.

(95) I have found no instances of successful licensing in later decades either.

(96) George L. Parker, "A History of a Canadian Publishing House: A Study of the Relations between Publishing and the Profession of Writing 1890-1940" (PhD diss., University of Toronto, 1969), 133.

(97) Special Committee, Bill No. 2 re Copyright Act ... 1921, Proceedings, 44.

(98) Parker, "History of a Canadian Publishing House," 133.

(99) "Novels Will be $2.50--School Books Scarce," B & S 36 (July 1920), 47.

(100) "Great Chance for the Bookseller," B & S 37 (October 1921), 25.

(101) Advertisement, B & S 37 (May 1921).

(102) "Improvement in Spring Book Trade," B & S 39 (April 1923), 55.

(103) Advertisement (front cover) B & S 38 (April 1922); advertisement, B & S 38 (March 1922), 4-5.

(104) Eugene Exman, The House of Harper: One Hundred and Fifty Years of Publishing (New York: Harper 86 Row, 1967), 211-12, 220; John Tebbel, A History of Book Publishing in the United States (New York: Bowker, 1972-81), 2:202-3, 3:77, 3:266. For Musson's full page advertisement of the Bubble Books, see B & S (May 1920), 9.

(105) "Canadian Motion Pictures," Canadian Bookman 4 (November 1922), 304.

(106) Peter Morris, "Ernest G. Shipman," Canadian Encyclopedia: Year 2000 Edition (Toronto: McClelland & Stewart, 1999), 2154.

(107) Anne Elizabeth Wilson, "Authors and Motion Pictures," Canadian Bookman 5 (July 1923), 177.

(108) "Revival of Interest in Clearing House Plan for Overstock Books," B & S 40 (January 1924), 45.

(109) "Brighter Days Ahead for Book Industry," B & S 40 (January 1924), 43.

(110) "Again Urge Total Removal of Sales Tax," B & S 41 (January 1925), 7.

(111) Section of the Canadian Authors Association," Canadian Bookman 6 (April 1924): 7.

(112) Roy MacGregor, "Tom Tomson the Clear Star as Group of Seven Exhibit Welcomed in London," The Globe and Mail (Toronto) 17 October 2011, last modified 6 September 2012 (online but with restricted access); "In Praise of

... Canada's Group of Seven," The Guardian, 21 November 2011, http://www.

(113) "Bliss Carman Heard in Britain," Canadian Bookman 6 (June 1924): 138.

(114) "Book Business Was Never so Prosperous," B & S 42 (June 1926), 366.

(115) "More Books Sold in Canada Last Year than Ever Before," B & S 43 (February 1927), 53, 55.

(116) Book Publishers' Council, Book Publishers' Section, Courses on Commerce and Finance, Lectures in Business Administration, Spring Term (1928), "The Printing and Publishing Industries" (typescript, 1 page), (indexed by George Parker as carton 4, bundle 4). Baldwin House in the late 1920S was located at 33 St. George Street. This stately mansion, now called Pendarves-Cumberland House, was later removed to the University of Toronto campus and serves as the International Student Centre. Ontario Heritage Trust, "Pendarves-Cumberland House," 7 Dec. 2010, I am grateful to Sandra Alston, who pointed me to this resource.

(117) Publishers' Weekly 113 (23 June 1928), 2513.

(118) "Publisher Sees No Hope for Larger Discounts," B & S 44 (September 1928), 15, 32.

(119) Special Committee, Bill No. 2 re Copyright Act ... 1921, Proceedings, 162.

(120) Lisgar Lang to Hugh Eayrs, 4 November 1924; Hugh Eayrs to Lisgar Lang, 7 November 1924, file 4 (Eayrs private correspondence, 1921-24), box 14 (executive correspondence), Macmillan Company of Canada Fonds, William Ready Division of Archives and Research Collections, McMaster University.

(121) Special Committee, Bill No. 2 re Copyright Act ... 1921, Proceedings, 162.

(122) Surveys by Bookseller and Stationer indicated a preference among booksellers and their customers for English gift and art books, which had better paper and binding than American books. Popular English works were about the size of pocket books, and were cheaper than American ones, even with the exchange rate.

(123) George M. Kelley to S.B. Watson, 14 October 1924, file 9 (Thring, Herbert H., correspondence with Frank Wise re copyright laws, 1911-24), box 9, Macmillan Company of Canada Fonds.

(124) "Illegal to Import Direct Copies of Books in which Publisher Has Market Rights?" B & S 40 (December 1924), 44-45.

(125) Michael Holroyd, Lytton Strachey (New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1968), 2:390-91.

(126) "Effort to Clarify Book Market Situation," B & S 41 (February 1925), 65.

(127) Ibid.

(128) T. Fisher Unwin, letter, B & S 25 (September 1919), 42.

(129) Parker, "History of a Canadian Publishing House," 133.

(130) Stanley Unwin, The Truth about Publishing (London: George Allen and Unwin, 1926), 197.

(131) "Book Imports into Canada," Publishers' Weekly 113 (23 June 1928): 2533-44.

(132) "Imports and Exports," B & S 45 (March 1929), 67.

(133) Special Committee, Bill No. 2 re Copyright Act ... 1921, Proceedings, 10. The physical examination of such books, together with the evidence of publisher/ author records, usually indicates that they were imported sheets or printed from imported plates. In bibliographical terms, then, the Toronto edition was often an issue of the first edition published in New York or London.

(134) Ibid., 11.

(135) Canadian Bookman 5 (July 1923), 197.

(136) Hugh S. Eayrs, "The Past and Future of Canadian Publishing," Publishers" Weekly 113 (23 June 1928), 2514.

(137) "How British Publishers Regard Canada," B & S 41 (March 1925), 57.

(138) "In Memory of Ted Pike," Quill & Quire 19 (June 1953), 17-18.

(139) "Effort to Clarify Book Market Situation," 65.

(140) "All Signs Point to Flourishing Book Trade this Christmas Season after Record Year," B & S 45 (December 1929), 49. Although the "three large publishers" are not named, they are probably McClelland and Stewart, Ryerson Press, and the Macmillan Company of Canada.

George Parker is Professor Emeritus, Royal Military College of Canada, Kingston, Ontario. He is the author of The Beginnings of the Book Trade in Canada (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1985), the editor of The Clockmaker: Series One, Two, and Three, by Thomas Chandler Haliburton, Centre for Editing Early Canadian Texts no. 10 (Ottawa: Carleton University Press, 1995), and a contributor to the three volumes of the History of the Book in Canada, ed. Patricia Lockhart Fleming and Yvan Lamonde (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2004-7). His article "The Publishing Industry in Canada 1918 to the Twenty-First Century" appears on the website, Historical Perspectives on Canadian Publishing, ed. Carl Spadoni and Judy Donnelly (Hamilton, ON: McMaster University Library / Heritage Canada, 2009),
Table 1. Statement Showing the Imports from Great Britain and
the United States of Books Entered for Consumption in Canada During
the Fiscal Years Ending in March, 1924 to 1928 (131)

Item                             1924         1925         1926

Books, printed,          GB    $567,139     $603,413     $620,697
periodicals and
pamphlets *              US   $1,992,057   $1,896,727   $1,711,860

Books:                   GB    $10,502       $7,508      $10,678
Novels or works of
fiction, or literature   US    $68,182      $64,826      $60,951
of a similar
character, unbound
or paper bound, or
in sheets

Books, not printed       GB    $404,272     $493,123     $447,466
or reprinted in
Canada, used             US    $510,628     $469,216     $478,967
as textbooks
in universities,
colleges, schools,

Books on the             GB    $10,108       $5,951       $8,725
application of
science to industries    US    $103,948     $106,680     $88,161
of all kinds

Books, viz: Bibles,      GB    $170,665     $143,251     $158,198
prayer books, psalm
and hymn books,          US    $148,995     $132,971     $151,208
religious tracts and
Sunday School
lesson pictures

Books, bound or          GB     $6,796      $22,250      $17,255
unbound, which
have been printed        US    $15,290      $11,038      $11,863
and manufactured
more than twelve

Item                             1927         1928

Books, printed,          GB    $696,025     $826,966
periodicals and
pamphlets *              US   $1,880,673   $2,049,944

Books:                   GB     $7,308       $16,260
Novels or works of
fiction, or literature   US    $58,637     $658,151 **
of a similar
character, unbound
or paper bound, or
in sheets

Books, not printed       GB    $473,528     $512,489
or reprinted in
Canada, used             US    $560,152     $588,116
as textbooks
in universities,
colleges, schools,

Books on the             GB    $23,017       $11,692
application of
science to industries    US    $92,854       $87,067
of all kinds

Books, viz: Bibles,      GB    $189,834     $193,124
prayer books, psalm
and hymn books,          US    $174,880     $169,674
religious tracts and
Sunday School
lesson pictures

Books, bound or          GB    $17,192       $20,747
unbound, which
have been printed        US    $15,223       $14,383
and manufactured
more than twelve

* Cloth-bound novels and books of general trade character are included
in the first category.

** In the second classification an enormous increase is shown for
1928. It includes, for the first time, dutiable periodicals, all
fiction magazines, etc. These had previously entered Canada free of

Table 2. Total Imports of Books and Printed Matter into Canada (132)

Year    Great Britain    United States

1928      $2,437,162      $12,867,878
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Title Annotation:p. 158-185
Author:Parker, George L.
Publication:Papers of the Bibliographical Society of Canada
Article Type:Essay
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Sep 22, 2012
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