Last Saturday and
Monday, stores and other business places, observed heatless days in Simcoe.
It is to be hoped that if the
Fuel Controller ever feels it necessary to repeat the experiment, he will take warning from this experience and avoid
some very unfortunate errors.
The indefiniteness and
vacillation that characterized the instructions sent out from Ottawa,
and the lack of harmony between the views of officers at Ottawa and
Toronto wrought no little confusion.
It is generally considered
that it was a mistake to include a Saturday among the closed days, and
it should not be repeated.
The general opinion is, too,
that discrimination between different sorts of fuel should not be
The object of the order was,
of course, primarily, to conserve coal. Only coal was mentioned in the
original proclamation. Places heating with wood or oil were not
The following day, the order
was amended to include oil and wood, with coal, in the embargo. But it
was explicitly stated that towns heating exclusively with natural gas
need not close.
This announcement came in
Wednesday's papers and was responsible for the notice printed in The
Reformer that Simcoe stores would not be closed.
We had in type at that
time an announcement ready for printing notifying our readers that
Simcoe stores would be closed Saturday to Monday. But under
instructions of the leading advertising business men of the town,
the notice that did appear was printed [last
On Friday morning came the
request from the authorities and from the Provincial retail
Association, that even those towns which under a strict interpretation
of the closing order had the legal right to stay open, should close.
An expression of opinion
from the merchants of the town was then obtained, when a large
majority declared for standing by the spirit instead of the letter
of the order, and close up. Bills were printed and circulated
quickly both in town and country, the result being three quiet
days in town.