Graham Spry’s Contrast Between the USSR and Canada

May 31, 1936

Dear J.S. [Woodsworth]

The contrast between the universal activity in construction here and the relative stagnation in Canada is too obvious to need statistical proof ... But more important than either economic security or increased wealth is the spirit of the people, their faith in themselves collectively and individually, the deep-seated belief they have in the significance of what they are doing, however menial... There is more than an economic revolution at work, here, there is a moral revolution... The picture, of course, is not without its dark spots. Judged statically rather than dynamically, it is, in many respects, a dreary picture; housing is appallingly scarce and quite bad, the supply of clothing is still inadequate... there is a vast and magnificent inefficiency in the most simply matters of administration and work; and for those who attack the structure of society the quick and final sanction of force. fears war and devotes one fifth of its budget to defence, but as an English architect put it, the Soviet Union is doing the right things badly, we in England are doing the wrong things well. ...Let me assure you, my trip has not altered my belief that the CCF approach is the only practicable approach to creating a new society in Canada.


Source: Graham Spry, Graham Spry's Contrast Between the USSR and Canada in Passion and Conviction: The Letters of Graham Spry, Rose Potrin (Regina: Canadian Plains Research Center, 1992), 103

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