The Proper Limitations of State Interference
Publication
The Empire Club of Canada Addresses (Toronto, Canada), 6 Mar 1924, p. 109-124
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The Proper Limitations of State Interference


The speaker's statement of Canada's ills at the present time: that we are in danger of overgovernment; that we are suffering from the too-great extension of the functions of the State; that it is doing already great harm to our economic life, and threatening greater still; doing a great deal to undermine the sounder principles of morality and self-reliance, and doing much to imperil the older and sterner spirit of British liberty on which our commonwealth was founded. Turning back for a moment to the pages of history to consider the period of the opening of the modern industrial era, about a century ago. Advocating a return to the principle of every man for himself, a return to a measure of greater freedom, and reasons why. A review of those evil days of unrestrained competition and what they have taught us. The principles of the Factory Acts. Progress in the final assertion that the right of property must always be limited by the anterior right of one's fellow-men. The question remaining as to how far that regulation is going to extend, and where justice begins and ends, and where a proper and legitimate conception of what is one's own property must meet with a valid conception of the things that concern the State. The legacy of hatred against capitalism brought down from that era, along with the haunting vision of socialism. The dignity of that vision; the impossibility of that vision. Socialism as a thing that will not and cannot work, and reasons for it. Finding our direction towards the organization of an attempted socialism, or back towards the sterner, sounder, harder ground of individual effort. New times for labour; in what direction is it going to expend its power. Facing this problem of which way society is moving. The duty of everybody who knows anything of the truth about Russia to speak out. The need to get back to a sane capitalism, and how and why that is so. Problems of taxation. The need for British capital. The dangers of accepting American capital. The St. Lawrence project as an example. The attempt to regulate the moral conduct and the private life of individuals as another aspect of the interference of the State, with discussion. The issue of freedom of speech.