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A joint meeting of The Empire Club of Canada and The Canadian Club of Toronto.
The fact that many of the looming anxieties of our time have not in fact materialized, and that even some of our most hopeful guesses have been surpassed by realization. Comments on the recent attention attracted by foreign exchange problems and changes in policy. A review of the current and recent economic situation in the United States and in Canada. The strength in the U.S. business situation and its vital importance to Canada. The more restrictive import policy adopted by many overseas customers in the summer of 1949, and its consequences. Capital movements and the difficulty of prediction. U.S. buying Canadian securities. The capital inflow from the U.S. to Canada. Problems posed for Canada. The unique situation in Canada. Foreign debt and Canada's exposure to swings in foreign opinion. The speaker's belief that, all crises to the contrary notwithstanding, Canada's record of progress has been extraordinarily good. The creation of the United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Organization, the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development, and the International Monetary Fund, each designed to play its appropriate part in the difficult task of post-war reconstruction and development. The further contribution of large loans authorized by the U.S. and Canada in 1946. The underestimation of the task. The Marshall Plan, made to meet the threatened crisis of 1947-48. The unfaltering North American business. Examples of foreboding expressed during these last few years. The dollar problem. Deficits and surplus: some figures. Fears of depression and high unemployment in the U.S. by Europe; a re-examination of thoughts and emotions on this subject. Some unsatisfactory aspects of the post-war period, such as the world-wide decline in the purchasing power of money. Reasons for this decline. Economic consequences of the Cold War. The need for a rearmament programme, made evident by events in Korea. The need for policies in the economic field whose effect is likely to endure, rather than for stop-gap methods. The need for us to have "pay-as-you-go" financing, and for maximum productivity. Avoiding inflation in a situation of large-scale defence spending. The speaker's belief that the task before us is a manageable one, with some summary suggestions as to how it may be managed.