In The First Place
Concealed in a comparatively innocent matter lie two others of great importance. Nominally, it is the Canadian railway question: actually it is a question of Canadian prosperity, and, ultimately, a question of which political system we believe in—Bureaucracy, to fight which we have spent money and Canadian lives—or Democracy. The Canadian railway question pierces to the quick of all Anglo-Saxon political thinking, challenging an ideal for which our kind have struggled for centuries, an ideal for which Canadian lives have been sacrificed without stint—Democracy!
I believe in Socialism but not Prussian Socialism or Bureaucratic Socialism whose purpose is not the raising and strengthening of the Individual within the Brotherhood called the State, but the raising and strengthening of the State above and upon the Individual. Let us have none of it.
It is only prudent to be slow to act in this matter of Railway Nationalization. Nothing can be lost by delay—the roads are better operated to-day than in the United States. Everything may be gained—including the experience of the British and American Governments who have been less fortunate with their railways than we have been and who will decided in the next two or three years whether or not to purchase their railways as we are asked now to purchase ours. Let us at least not cruise ahead of them in such dangerous seas.