47 Glencairn Ave.
Toronto 12
Ont. Canada
August 23, 1954

Dear President Gushue:

I think that our good friend Sid over-rated my influence with the moneyed people of Toronto. In fact, the only one he mentioned in that list whom I knew is J.S. McLean. I never met Eaton, or Tory or Taylor and I never exchanged any conversation with Edgar Burton. I recently tried out J.S.M. in the interest of the National Health Movement but couldn't get a cent. Besides, Victoria College is in the throes of a campaign for badly needed funds and I imagine that all the tycoons that Sid mentioned will soon be approached.

There is a further consideration. My daughter has to undergo a serious spinal operation in Boston which will necessitate the presence of my wife and myself for at least three months this Fall. If Sid could stand that Luncheon, and I were in Toronto, I should be glad to be present. Otherwise I think that the best procedure would be to write an explanatory letter to the 'prospects' and then on your arrival in Toronto you might get in touch with them.

When it comes to gathering in funds I fear I am a weak reed. My good wishes in any case.

Yours sincerely,
E.J. Pratt


over-rated my influence
Sidney Smith, president of the University of Toronto, had suggested Pratt to Gushue as a possible Toronto contact for a fund-raising drive being undertaken by Memorial University of Newfoundland of which he was president. He had written Pratt to sound him out.

that list
Smith had given Gushue a list of 'moneyed' Torontonians whom he thought Pratt knew and could intercede with on Gushue's behalf. All of them were presidents and/or directors of major business firms, and included – besides J.S. MacLean – John David Eaton (President of the T. Eaton Company), J.S.D. Tory (a prominent Toronto lawyer), E.P. Taylor (President of Argus Corporation), and Edgar Burton (President of Simpsons Limited).

National Health Movement
[sic]. The National Mental Health Association.

this Fall
While Claire was living in Boston, her surgery was to be performed in New York. Pratt may have anticipated a prolonged stay with her there, but his one visit was limited to three days. Viola spent several months with Claire, as later letters indicate.

Luncheon
Gushue had suggested to Pratt 'a luncheon arranged through you' at which 'the invitees' would be primed and pumped. There is no evidence that Pratt attended any such luncheon. Gushue subsequently wrote (16 September 1954) to thank him for the 'frank way' in which he had replied.