Mutual Aid is the principal economic means by which Canada assisted its allies with food, raw materials and munitions from May 1943 until the end of WORLD WAR II
. The Mutual Aid Board, chaired by C.D. HOWE
, supervised all Allied purchases in Canada and allocated over $2-billion worth of Canadian production without charge, most of it going to Britain and the Commonwealth. An act of enlightened self-interest, it adhered to the fundamental principle that there should be no war debts that would burden postwar trade.
Mutual Aid and the BILLION DOLLAR GIFT were unpopular measures, but they provided the financial basis for Canadian war production, which was the key to Canada's wartime prosperity and perhaps its most significant contribution to the victory.
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).
HECTOR M. MACKENZIE