Realism or Fatalism
Publication:
The Empire Club of Canada Addresses (Toronto, Canada), 12 Mar 1962, p. 213-225


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Realism or Fatalism


A joint meeting of The Empire Club and The Canadian Club of Toronto. Some questions that cannot be avoided "as one looks at the state of the world we are living in." Having "said that war is impossible and that there is no alternative to peace, how then is peace to be secured?" The speaker's feeling that there is "no need for despair or fatalism despite the frustrations, exasperations and confusions." How conflicts of opinion must now be reconciled, not crushed. Canada's fit into the world order; first learning "how to order our own affairs and demonstrate our ability to find solutions for our own recurring domestic problems." The speaker now addresses a new topic, his own business, that of transportation. The speaker declares himself a "railroader" and presents his credentials. Transportation as one of the important requirements of the Canadian economy. Gigantic changes flowing out of the disciplines that are being imposed by the Nuclear Age and the coming Space Age brought into the context of the discussion of transportation industry, the formation of large trading blocs, protection by tariffs, etc. Canada's position in world trade. Problems facing Canada in international competition. The importance of transportation costs. The nature of Canada's transportation system as a matter of vital concern. Volume II of the Royal Commission's Report on Transportation, recently available and with recommendations to improve Canada's transportation efficiency. Some background to the Commission. Recommendations in both Volumes I and II. A review of the Report, its recommendations and proposals. The clear line drawn by the Royal Commission between national policy and national transportation policy. A first step toward adjusting the balance of competition between the various modes of transportation in Canada. Removing burdens that have seriously weakened the competitive position of the railways. Four major areas of change in public policy. A detailed discussion of many of the specifics of the Report follows, including, in respect to the whole programme, the managerial function that the Commission very ably states. A discussion of labour-management relations, which was not included in the terms of reference of the Commission. The truths of economic survival no different from the facts of physical survival: "no species can survive unless it adapts to its changing environment."