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Owen Galloway of Indiana.

The Galloway Plan was a proposal by North American Motors President Owen Galloway to subsidize emigration within and from the Confederation of North America.

The Galloway Speech[]

Galloway made his proposal in a vitavised speech on the evening of 25 December 1922, in the wake of the worst wave of political violence to sweep the C.N.A. since the troubles of the Bloody Eighties. The violence pitted a heterogeneous group of reformers under the umbrella of the League for Brotherhood against the defenders of the status quo, including a national organization called the Heirs of the Rebellion.

Governor-General Calvin Wagner had attempted to rally the nation behind him, but only succeeded in antagonizing his enemies and making his supporters more militant. James Kilroy of the New York Herald wrote that "the faint aroma of Starkism has made its appearance, and both the opponents of our civilization and its supporters seem pleased by the possibility of its return." Economically, the C.N.A. remained prosperous, but a general sense of moral decay that had been growing since the Chapultepec Incident of 1916 was becoming dangerous.

As he noted in his speech, Galloway had reluctantly come to the conclusion that the opposing forces in the C.N.A. could not live amicably together. Drawing on such historical precedents as the voyage of the Mayflower and the Wilderness Walk to Jefferson, Galloway had decided that the best solution would be for the reformers to be allowed to remove themselves from among their traditionalist opponents.

In order to facilitate the separation of the reformers from the traditionalists, Galloway announced that his brothers and sisters and himself, with the blessing of their father, had decided to organize a national trust dedicated to assisting those who sought to emigrate. The trust would be capitalized at N.A. £100 million, in the form of securities of North American Motors and other large corporations. The dividends and interest would be used for the purpose of helping those who desired to relocate, whether to other parts of the C.N.A., to the United Empire, or elsewhere. Galloway promised that further details would be released within the week, and that he would discuss them in a press conference held on 5 January 1923.

The Galloway Plan[]

The reaction to Galloway's proposal was mixed, with some praising Galloway and others criticizing him. Howard Washburne, the head of the League for Brotherhood, called the Galloway Plan "worthy of study, and the child of a man of unquestionable sincerity." Other commentators denounced the Galloway Plan as a scheme to sell locomobiles, a ploy to enable Galloway to become the next governor-general, the work of a religious fanatic, or a clever ploy to take over the government.

Politically, the Galloway Plan was successful in calming the turbulence that had been growing in the C.N.A. since 1916. Traditionalists claimed that the Galloway Plan would "shut up the anarchist units for good. Now these weepers will have to accept the Plan or show themselves the cowards they are." The reformers, for their part, welcomed the opportunity to "denude the nation of its most precious possession, its people. Galloway has done more to destroy this corrupt society than any man in history."

The Galloway Trust was established as promised in February 1923, by which time thousands of would-be emigrants had already showed up at its temporary headquarters asking to be placed on the rolls. Governor-General Wagner promised the government's cooperation, but Galloway did not seek any role by the government.

Even though both parties had already held their conventions and chosen their nominees for governor-general in the upcoming 1923 Grand Council elections, in mid-January a group of Indiana councilmen suggested the formation of a "Galloway coalition" of candidates who had pledged to select Galloway as governor-general. Galloway rejected the proposal, saying, "Even if selected for the post, I will not serve in it."

This ended the effort to draft Galloway, but not his influence. The People's Coalition nominee, Governor-General Wagner, endorsed the Galloway Plan, "and all it entails." His Liberal Party opponent, Councilman Henderson Dewey, went further, promising to bring Galloway into the government. Dewey also consciously imitated Galloway's diction, style, and even appearance, allowing him to give the impression, without specifically saying so, that he was closer to Galloway than Wagner. Dewey's performance allowed the Liberals to win 81 seats in the Grand Council.


N.A.M. ship carrying emigrants to Australia, 1923.

Although there was no direct connection between the Galloway Trust and the government, C.N.A. bureaucrats cooperated whenever possible with the Trust, and did more to aid in relocations than was generally known at the time. Minister of Home Affairs Douglas Watson noted that more individuals relocated within the C.N.A. without Trust assistance than did so with its aid, and that only 29.7% of those who emigrated received more than N.A. £40 from the Trust, while 31.8% asked for no such aid. He later claimed that "the Dewey government was more instrumental in aiding emigration than the Trust."

At the time, though, Dewey did not publicize this fact. Instead, Home Office agents were ordered to assist the emigrants, and to be especially helpful to those who relocated within the C.N.A. While those who left the country tended to be Coalitionists, those who emigrated within it tended to be Liberals. In effect, Dewey was exporting his political opposition.

The Emigrants[]

In the seven years after the Galloway Trust was set up, 465,423 North American left the country, while another 1,384,085 relocated within the C.N.A. Between 1923 and 1970, over a million North Americans accepted assistance to leave the country, and five million had relocated within the C.N.A.

Resettlement Under the Galloway Plan, 1923-1930
YEAR Overseas Interior TOTAL
1923 154,978 223,545 378,523
1924 95,654 200,453 296,107
1925 65,998 219,986 285,985
1926 51,198 176,232 227,430
1927 30,978 155,877 186,855
1928 31,725 187,989 219,714
1929 22,243 126,923 149,166
1930 12,649 93,080 105,729
TOTAL 465,423 1,384,085 1,849,508

The Galloway Plan permanently altered the population distribution of the C.N.A. In 1920 some 69% of the population lived in urban areas; ten years later, the figure had declined to 65.4%. By 1930, Manitoba had become the second most populous confederation, while the populations of the others stagnated or rose only slowly. Even those who remained in their home confederations tended to move to rural areas or suburbs. By 1928 it was estimated that the typical North American family moved once every five years.

C.N.A. Population Statistics, 1920-1930 (in millions)
YEAR Northern Conf. Indiana Southern Conf. Manitoba Northern Vandalia Southern Vandalia TOTAL
1920 35.1 28.8 21.8 19.0 16.8 15.2 136.7
1921 35.3 29.2 21.9 20.1 17.0 15.0 138.5
1922 35.5 29.4 22.1 21.0 17.4 15.1 140.5
1923 34.9 28.9 22.2 23.2 17.4 15.0 141.6
1924 34.7 28.9 22.1 24.5 17.6 15.1 142.9
1925 34.7 29.0 22.2 26.0 18.1 15.2 145.2
1926 34.8 29.2 22.2 27.3 18.3 15.3 147.1
1927 34.8 29.4 22.8 27.9 18.9 15.2 149.0
1928 35.0 29.5 22.9 30.4 19.1 15.3 152.2
1929 35.4 29.9 23.2 31.0 19.5 15.6 154.6
1930 35.6 30.2 23.4 31.5 19.7 15.9 156.3

The major exception to the movement away from the cities was among the C.N.A.'s Negroes. Emigrants from Southern Vandalia, which was already the most rural confederation, tended to move to major cities in Indiana and the eastern confederations. By 1930, one quarter of the population of New York City was Negro, while almost half that of Michigan City, Norfolk, and Boston were recently-arrived Southern Vandalians. Although many moved to predominantly Negro neighborhoods, a substantial number of middle-class Negroes settled in the suburbs, where they lived side-by-side with similarly middle-class whites.

Sobel's sources for the Galloway Plan are June Zaccone's The Galloway Plan and the Races ((New York, 1930); Phyllis Potter's The Lost Generation: The North American Emigrants of the 1920's (London, 1955); and Lewis Sayers' The Galloway Plan: The Modern Moses (New York, 1966). Resettlement figures are from the New York Herald, 21 January 1931. Population statistics are from the C.N.A. Statistical Abstract, p. 956.

This was the Featured Article for the week of 26 May 2013.