Duncan, James Stuart
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A joint meeting of The Empire Club of Canada and The Canadian Club of Toronto.
The speaker's return, just a few weeks ago, from a Goodwill and Trade Mission to Latin America. What was seen there, what was accomplished, and what the future holds in store for Canada in the Southern part of the great American Continent. Members of the Mission, headed by The Right Honourable C.D. Howe, Canada's Minister of Trade and Commerce. Some words about Mr. Howe. Paying tribute to Canada's Foreign Trade Service, under the leadership of Fred Bull, Deputy Minister of Trade and Commerce, and reasons for that tribute. Trade officials stationed in foreign lands who can be of immense service to the Canadian businessman who wishes to find a market for his product. Canadian commercial services just as ready and just as well equipped to assist Latin American exporters to find a market for their products in Canada. Reasons why the Mission went to Latin America, and how they were received. Considerable interest in the Mission due to the fact that it was composed not only of Government officials, but businessmen, some of whom spoke the language of the people of the countries visited. Products of Latin America. Some trade figures. Germany's trade with Latin America. Each war resulting in a loosening of the ties of Latin America with Europe and in an increase in the importance of the United States in its trade. The standard of living in Latin America. The long-term potential of markets in Latin America. The need for Canada to develop the skills and the techniques essential to successful trading in foreign lands. Canada's exports so greatly increased since pre-war days that this issue is beclouded. Exports before the second world conflict. The need to continue to expand our markets in the United States. Of vital importance to Canada as a whole, and particularly to her agriculture, with special emphasis upon the wheat economy of the Western Provinces, to build back traditional markets with the Sterling area and Western Europe. How to get done the business that needs to get done in terms of exports. The need for a greater diversification of exports. National prosperity and higher living standards intimately connected with greater freedom of trade, with convertible currencies, and with a political climate that welcomes, not penalizes, venture capital, whether that capital comes from domestic or from foreign savings. Many countries taking note of our less restrictive approach to commercial, financial and investment problems, and the extent to which these are paying off in greater production, higher living standards, and mounting national income. Two factors which give the speaker cause for optimism: the ferment, the leaven, which is working in the great masses of the people, who everywhere are striving towards a more abundant life, a higher standard of living and increased purchasing power, a larger national income, and an insistent and growing demand for more goods made and produced both at home and abroad carried with it; the giant strides of air transportation.