This series, begun in 1978, will serve, it is hoped, as a vehicle for the publication of original studies in the general area of Canadian political economy and economic history, with particular emphasis on the part played by the government in shaping the economy. Collections of shorter studies, as well as theoretical or internationally comparative works, may also be included.
Based on case studies of businessmen's organizations, federal regulartory agencies, and several of the industries they regulated, this book seeks to explain the emergence of the modern interventionist state as the product of competing claims on the state by manufacturers, industrial workers, and farmers, each responding to the structural imperatives of the Canadian economy.
The survey details two distinct phases in federal industrial thinking between 1917 and 1931. The first phase covers the period of war and reconstruction to 1921, when the federal government first imposed and then withdrew from active regulation of the economy. During the phase, from 1921 to 1931, industrialists attempted to control competition and minimize class conflict without government regulation, and looked to the state only to provide passive intervention in the form of the protective tariff.
In the first section, demands for regulation by businessmen are examined in a study of the Canadian Reconstruction Association, a businessmen's organization, and the course of the regulatory experiences is charted in case studies of the Paper Controller nd the newsprint industry and the Board of Commerce and the sugar refining industry. In the second section, the search for security without regulations is examined in a discussion of the merger movement, industrial relations policies, and demands for tariff reforms. The analysis is based on two detailed studies of political conflicts over claims presented to the Advisory Board on Tariff and Taxation for revisions to the tariff in the automobile and steel industries.