Purvis, Arthur B.
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An outline of the general conditions with which we are faced in order to paint the background upon which any effort in industrial life has at this time to be superimposed. The present attack on depression problems based on a general theory that industry has overbuilt and the speaker's belief that this is a fundamentally wrong conception, that every effort should be bent towards producing that state of mind in industry as a whole which will encourage it to go forward with confidence and take risks in adapting these new scientific ideas to the needs of our population. The possibilities that are immediately before us. An examination of the depression through which we are passing. Evidence of the belief that the current difficult period is merely different from previous depression periods in degrees alone, and reasons for it with illustrative examples. The present postwar crisis. Canada's steady improvement in economic conditions and how that improvement has been made manifest. The widespread nature of this depression. The limit to what any one country can do to recover its normal comforts until the international situation rights itself. The dangerous period ahead of us in our domestic affairs. The importance now of the quality of character and mind of our people. The railway problem still to be dealt with. Canada's future. The impending election and the greater danger of following the wrong road. Lessons already available to us from Russia, Italy, Germany, the United States and the United Kingdom. The contrasting atmospheres of doubt and defeat in the United States and that of hope and confidence in the United Kingdom. The need for Canada to work through old and tried principles which from the experience of the ages we know can be depended upon in due course to bring results while in the meantime caring for the less fortunate members of society. Recognizing that the cry for reform of industry comes form the natural public reaction not only to a major depression but also to certain failings in the handling by industry of industry's problems. An emphasis of the speaker's conviction that it is vital that the economic system should maintain a continuous and automatic urge upon every individual to improve his material welfare so as to provide him with the opportunity to develop himself … through the medium of the profit incentive motive which has made possible the truly marvelous forward strides which have been achieved in the standard of living in the more civilized countries. The alternative to this system. Making more definite moves towards the provision of an ethical background similar to that which has been more successfully built up in the professions. Up to the manufacturer to define to a greater extent the principles on which he intends to work; then also up to industry to police its own system to see that those principles are maintained. Suffering today to some considerable extent from the loss of the generation missing as a result of the War. The speaker's acceptance of the implication that where manufacturers fail to pay proper regard to the public weal, we should expect and look for Government regulation, and his certainty that the extent of the Government regulation imposed upon us is, and will always be, the measure of our own failure. The four general obligations of the manufacturer: to the consumer, to the employee, to the stockholder and to the Government. The need for principles to be laid down governing such obligations. A discussion of each of these obligations follows. Accepting a reasonably full measure of publicity as to the record of the manufacturing industry.