- The Empire Club of Canada Addresses (Toronto, Canada), 25 Jan 1954, p. 171-179
- Stuart, The Honourable R. Douglas, Speaker
- Media Type
- Item Type
- A joint meeting of The Empire Club of Canada, The Canadian Club of Toronto and The American Men's Club of Toronto.
The speaker addresses the audience as a businessman, about some of the problems which are of fundamental importance to the business system in which both Canada and the United States are closely linked. The fact that for many years more Americans and Canadians have been earning more and spending more money than have any similar number of people anywhere in the history of the world; reasons why. Why the present-day system is superior to old-world capitalism with its self-imposed restraints, cartels and fear of competition. Our flexible society; each person starting out with an opportunity. A look at what business is, how it operates, and what it contributes. Business as conducted on the basis of our enterprise system, providing a return on invested funds for all classes of thrifty people. Putting savings to work. Business as more than the machine and its products. One of the objectives of the present American Administration: the freeing of world trade. Evidence of progress made. Canada and the United States, taking the efficiency, common sense and the broad consideration which are fundamental to good sound business and applying them to our communities and government.
- Date of Original
- 25 Jan 1954
- Language of Item
- Copyright Statement
- The speeches are free of charge but please note that the Empire Club of Canada retains copyright. Neither the speeches themselves nor any part of their content may be used for any purpose other than personal interest or research without the explicit permission of the Empire Club of Canada.
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- Full Text
- "ECONOMIC PROBLEMS OF COMMON INTEREST TO CANADA AND THE UNITED STATES"
An Address by THE HONOURABLE R. DOUGLAS STUART, United States Ambassador to Canada
Joint Meeting with The Canadian Club of Toronto and The American Men's Club o f Toronto
Monday, January 25th, 1954
CHAIRMAN: Mr. F, B, Whitlock, President of The American Men's Club of Toronto,
MR. WHITLOCK: I consider it a great privilege to have asked to chair this joint meeting of the Canadian Club, the Empire Club, and the American Men's Club on the occasion of the new United States Ambassador's first major address in the City of Toronto, Each of our three clubs have been eagerly awaiting the Ambassador's visit to our city, and it is very fitting that we join together today so that we may all hear him at this time,
We are highly honoured to have with us at the head table, on this important occasion, Her Majesty's Representative the Lieutenant-Governor of Ontario, The Honourable Louis O. Breithaupt, together with other outstanding leaders in public affairs and business from both sides of the border,
Mr. Arthur Inwood, President of The Empire Club of Canada will introduce our guest speaker,
MR. INWOOD: The American Men's Club of Toronto, The Canadian Club of Toronto and The Empire Club of Canada are honoured indeed that His Excellency should accept our invitations to address our clubs, particularly, upon the occasion of his first official visit to our city, It gives us pleasure, Sir, to welcome you to Toronto,
Canadians can be proud that they can lay claim to an important part of your personal background, We rest assured with the knowledge that you have a warm and intimate understanding of Canada and our Canadian characteristics which will tend to bring closer together, in every respect, our own beloved countries,
When I speak of Mr. Stuart's background I am referring to the fact that his father was born in Ingersoll, Ontario and that His Excellency himself was associated in business with the Quaker Oats Company of Canada for many years, having lived in Peterborough, Ontario and having worked at times in our Prairie Provinces. He retired from that company as president and vice-chairman of its board of directors as recently as July, 1953,
Among his business experience and interests he is a director of an important American bank, a director of a railroad, a director of two large insurance companies and director of a chemical corporation,
His public services have likewise been intense and varied. He served as American Red Cross commissioner for France in World War I. He is chairman of the Foundation for American Agriculture, past president of the Chicago Community Fund and honorary president of the Chicago Council to the United States Secretary of Commerce, He was treasurer of the Republican National Committee during the vital years from 1949 to 1953,
Having scored high in business and public service, the only phase of his life he scored low in, was I understand, the game of golf.
This varied background and a charming personality give us great confidence that our newly-appointed American Ambassador to Canada will make the hearts of Canada and United States continue to beat in unison for our mutual progress.
It is my honour to present to you His Excellency, Mr, Robert Douglas Stuart.
THE HONORABLE R. DOUGLAS STUART: I am most appreciative of the honor which has been paid my Government by the Canadian, Empire and American Men's Clubs of Toronto in asking me to speak to you today. I humbly admit this invitation came to me not because of any particular capacities I possess, but because of the fact that I represent the United States in Canada.
When the President asked me to come to Canada as the United States Ambassador, I was of course both pleased and surprised, I had never expected to be a diplomat nor to work for the Government, However, believing in Canada and Canadians, and being convinced that Canada was a land of promise and tremendous importance to the United States, in spite of the many obstacles I faced, I felt it was my duty to accept--so here I am.
Canada has been very important in the life of my family. My grandfather came out from Scotland in 1846 and settled in Embro, Ontario, There my father was born, When a small boy his father and mother moved from Embro to Ingersoll where my grandfather had built a small oatmeal mill, He lived there until he was 20, when he, with my grandfather moved to the United States for the purpose of building a small oatmeal mill in Cedar Rapids. As business grew he moved to Chicago where he built another mill,
I started my business life in Peterborough. From Peterborough I moved to the Northwest Provinces for the purpose of learning something about country elevator operations. For Canada and its people, who have been extraordinarily kind to me I have a great respect and affection,
I have spent countless happy days in Toronto, Here I have many friends, To those of my friends who have come here today may I express my appreciation for their courage and loyalty. They know my limitations, I have learned that when one speaks as a diplomat he must be cautious and above all, discreet, However, I will never be anything but frank,
Today it is not my purpose to talk about undefended borders, a theme which is now somewhat shopworn but nonetheless tremendously important, nor about the various splended organizations which our two countries have wisely established to settle our mutual problems, I have great respect for these-the International Joint Commission and the Permanent Joint Board of Defense, and finally the Committee on Trade and Economic Affairs,
This last committee, whose membership comprises four members of the Cabinet of Canada and four members of the Cabinet of the United States, is to study and recommend solutions for many of our trade problems. However, I am sure you here are all familiar with these various organizations,
I am going to talk to you as a businessman about some of the problems which are of fundamental importance to the business system in which our two countries are so closely linked, An ambassador is often expected to talk about international politics, After all, today politics and economics can not be divorced.
I realize I do not have to go into detail and tell this audience what truly great countries Canada and the United States are, For many years more Americans and Canadians have been earning more and spending more money than have any similar number of people anywhere in the history of the world,
Why? Because of the desire of the Canadian and American people for self-betterment and the ingenuity of our people in developing and expanding their competitive enterprise system, This system is North America's successful way of putting together our resources--raw materials, know-how and energy--to satisfy the material needs of men, women and children in a growing continent,
Look at this system's marvelous growth and unlimited possibilities, A century ago our entire output of goods and services valued at present-day prices was between 71/2 and 8 billion dollars, Last year, 1953, set a world's record of close to 395 billion dollars and the prospects are that 1954 will be another good year,
Compared with 100 years ago, today we find 7 times as many Canadians and Americans working a little more than half the hours and producing 50 times as much. The figures which I have given you may not be exact but they are approximately correct, In 1853 machinery did only 5 per cent of the nation's work, Human beings and animals did the rest. Today the figures are reversed, with machinery doing something over 95 percent of all the work.
Does not the past foretell the future? You younger men here today will live to see greater growth and marvels resulting from the pushbutton system of atomic and solar energy, the system described by the new word "automation".
The industrial revolution freed ordinary men and women from the bondage of heavy toil. High-speed automatic machinery will undoubtedly release more and more people from the tediousness of routine tasks,
This is the private enterprise system which is giving the citizens of Canada and the United States more real security and greater happiness and freedom than any other system yet devised by man, There are those who would like to exchange it for another system, and Communists everywhere in the world envy, fear and hate it, and if they had their way would destroy it,
Why is our system superior to old-world capitalism with its self-imposed restraints, cartels and fear of competition? Because our vigorous capitalism gives 175 to 180 million Americans and Canadians infinitely more than any system known to man,
Our society is flexible, Consequently, every lad starts with an opportunity, If he has the guts and a willingness to work the opportunities are limitless, Our way of life places no restrictions on individual freedom, It is the wonder of the world. We in the United States and Canada believe in the private competitive system because it has worked, As good citizens and businessmen our job is to defend and foster the system. Certainly our Governments believe in business.
Business is people. Business is the mason with his trowel, the worker at the lathe, the truck-driver transporting goods, the salesgirl in the country store, the shoeshine boy and the other service trades, the engineer figuring ways to increase consumption and the millions of workers earning their living from business.
Business belongs to the people. One out of every five stockholders in the American Telephone and Telegraph Company is an employee of the company. The total number of employees owning stock is 265,000. In the great mail-order house of Sears-Roebuck about 115,000 employees hold one-fourth of all the company stock.
Millions of men and women participate in employee pension plans and are in fact owners of the businesses. A large percentage of these funds is invested in equity stocks of industrial corporations, Owners of life insurance policies directly or indirectly finance business.
People create business, support business, and enjoy its benefits. The real boss of business is the consumer, When the products of industry cease to satisfy the people they stop buying them and the business goes broke, On this continent thousands of communities are built around some particular business, large or small,
It is strange that some people think they serve a useful purpose by criticizing and hamstringing business-both large and small, Their purpose is to slander business big and small--particularly big--as though size in itself were harmful to the people, If their reasoning were correct, many modern developments such as fraternal societies, labor unions and farmer cooperatives would stand condemned for their size,
Mass production, with its output of television, radar, automobiles and other inumerable blessings enjoyed by the families of the United States and Canada, is made possible only by the combination of large quantities of venture capital and know-how.
In view of the great military strength of Communism how safe would our children be if it were not for the productive capacity of big business? Isn't it reasonable to say that business is big because it has a big job to do.
Those who would destroy and tear down institutions which create jobs for millions, spread modern conveniences among other millions, and form our great bastion of defense are not serving the people of North America.
Business, small and large, contributes to the well-being of all Canadians and Americans, There is no advantage business can procure that is not eventually shared with all classes of the population in the form of compensation with customers in the form of improved quality of merchandise sold at lower prices.
In our modern economic society, business, agriculture and labor are inextricably woven together and no one of the three segments can be prosperous for any period of time unless all three segments are prosperous, Labor, agriculture and business must sink or swim together. As soon as all three groups realize this truth and act on it all will be better off and the people as a whole will be greatly benefitted. Every citizen of the North American continent in my judgment has a special interest in business because business success increases the well-being of all.
Business, as conducted on the basis of our enterprise system, provides a return on invested funds for all classes of thrifty people, It gives the thrifty people an opportunity to put their savings to work, By this process jobs are created, In the United States today it costs on the average about $10,000 to supply tools for the worker, The real friends of the worker recognize that savings are indispensible to labor.
In a growing North America business is more than the machine and its products. It is a great human instrument for increasing the general well-being at home and, we fondly hope, for helping to unite people of the entire world in bonds of friendship and peace, certainly this has been the result in Canada and the United States.
The friendship and understanding of Canada and the United States have grown steadily and in my judgment there will be no problems developing that are insoluble -none that cannot be solved if men of good will and common sense sit down with the determination to find a solution on the basis of fairness and complete understanding.
Our present Administration has, as one of its main objectives, the freeing of world trade, President Eisenhower reiterated this to your Parliament during his Ottawa visit last November, I am sure progress will be made.
One evidence is the report of the Randall Commission on Foreign Economic Policy, It analyzes the world economic situation and recommends ways in which impediments in the United States to international trade can be reduced, The report as a whole demonstrates the willingness of the Administration to do its part to help produce constructive forward action in the field of international economic cooperation,
Gentlemen, if our two countries are going to fulfill the promise of the future, we businessmen have to represent and interpret to the best of our ability our way of life, We have to know ourselves and face up to our ideals and beliefs. Self-analysis is always a painful task.
Every well-managed institution periodically takes a physical inventory when every screw, nut and bolt is counted, This is done so that we in business may know what our assets really are, The discrepancies which are sometimes discovered in the process of taking inventory are at times quite surprising.
Why shouldn't we apply this process to our intangibles?--and separate the chaff from the wheat, We must be sure of the fundamentals, balance, discrimination and sound judgment--not change merely for the sake of change and not sentimental loyalty to the old merely because it is old.
Coupled with these, I would be disloyal to my Scottish ancestors if I neglected to commend the all-important homely virtues of hard work and thrift which are as necessary today as 100 years ago. And further, and above all, we must never lose our faith in God, or a recognition of the fact that a firm spiritual basis is the only enduring basis for a healthy society, We must have the courage and conviction to stand for and support the things which we believe to be good,
Gentlemen, we have a great stake in the preservation of our way of life and our world, Everything worthwhile must be worked for, We must take the efficiency, common sense and the broad consideration which are fundamental to good sound business and apply them to our communities and government,
Canada and the United States are great countries--wonderful countries. To keep them so we as individuals must strive to further and improve those aspects of our countries which have led to our present greatness.
THANKS OF THE MEETING were expressed by Mr. G, Harry Sheppard, President of The Canadian Club of Toronto,