Munitions and Supply, Department of
The Department of Munitions and Supply was Canada's principal agency for co-ordinating domestic industry during WORLD WAR II
. It was decided that a civilian department should control the production of munitions for Canada and its allies, and accordingly Parliament passed the Munitions and Supply Act in September 1939 and brought it into force on 9 April 1940. The department's only minister was C.D. HOWE
, who furnished dynamic, aggressive leadership, as well as significant political clout. Besides producing ARMAMENTS
through its production branches, the department regulated scarce supplies held to be essential to war production, such as gasoline and silk (used for parachutes). To avoid creating a big bureaucracy, the department established crown corporations such as Victory Aircraft (bombers), POLYMER
(artificial rubber) and Research Enterprises (high technology). The department was dissolved at the end of WWII with a highly successful record.
The minister of Trade and Commerce speaking at the official opening of the Bethlehem Steel Corporation loading facilities at Picton, Ontario, 1955 (courtesy Library and Archives Canada/C-472).
Links to Other Sites
The Archives of Ontario Remembers the Home Front
In honour of the 60th anniversary of D-Day, the Archives of Ontario presents this stirring retrospective of Ontario’s extraordinary Home Front contribution to the war effort. Check out the personal stories, photographs, posters, video clips and other multimedia.