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A Message For The Ages

W.A. Mackintosh

The following message from Commerce Department Head W.A. Mackintosh appeared in the 1931 Queen’s Tricolour Yearbook. Though written during the depths of the Great Depression, his message would not have been out of place at this year’s Convocation ceremonies.

To the Graduating Class in Commerce:
The Class of 1931 enters a world of business distraught and discouraged, a world much less confident of itself and its future than it has been since 1918. A business depression, rendered more than ordinarily unresponsive to the forces of revival by a persistent decline in commodity prices, has reduced markets, cut down business incomes and created widespread unemployment. From Russia, experimenting with communistic control of the arts of production developed under capitalism, comes news of striking achievements. There is also evidence of equally striking failures, but never before has the challenge of the socialist programme been recognized so clearly by business leaders.

The Class of 1931 will see, during their careers in business, changes comparable to any that have taken place since the Industrial Revolution. They will have need of the highest standards of business ethics, the broadest social sympathy, the greatest resources of mind and character. In hoping that within themselves the new graduates will find these things, and that all others will be added unto them, I wish them success in ‘the great adventure’.