May 15 1942


May 15 1942




War contracts p'aced to March 3I~ 1942 . 287,000 Value $3447000000 Orders now being placed at rate of 600 a day


No. of workers in war production, Jan. I, 1942: Men 525~000 Women 75,000 Tofal 600,000 Annual payroll $900,000,000 No. of workers to be added in 1942: 1001000


Govt. investment n new war plants (57% by Canada, 43% by Britain) $600,000,000 Equals tofal prewar manufacturing invest. mont in Toronto and Hamilton.


Types produced: Field, I; Naval, 2; Anti. aircraft, 2; Tank and antitank1 2 types of each; Trench Mortars, 2. Total No. of types produced I I


Types produced: Bren, Browning, Vickers, Sten, naval. Bren gun monthly production rate, Dec., 1941 2,000 Current production rate Secret


Types produced: Lee-~nfie1d, Boys Antitank Rifle. No. of plants 2 Produclion of Lee-Enfields to reach 200,000 a year


No. of types produced . . No. of plants . Secret No. of workers . Secret MonThly production rate of end of 1941 . 50000,000 rounds Current production rote Secret


No. of types produced: Tanks . 2 Carriers . . . I Carrier. production rate: Enough to equip one infantry division every 14 days.


No. of types produced . 160 No. of workers . 30,000 Vehicles delivered to March, 1942 200,000 Production rate: One army au+omotive unit every three minutes.

possession of goods or property, license, require the production of documents, etc. Each controller has also been named a price ceiling administrator under the Wartime Prices and Trade Board. Pro. ducts or services covered to date include: timber, steel, oil, metals, machine tools, electric power, /ship construction, motor vehicles, construction, chemicals, transit and war supplies in general.

To the Ash on Pa’s Vest

NOT one of these “general managers” has yet used all of his powers. But the shadow of their authority lengthens every day. Thus George R. Cottrelle, Oil Controller, now requires each of us to produce a coupon for every gallon of gas we buy. All Mr. Cottrelle’s authority stems from the

Department of Munitions and Supply. He has power to take almost any steps he wishes in order to further the war effort in his particular field.

By the same token, Allan H. Williamson, Controller of Supplies, could, if he wished, commandeer and impound every tire on every motor car in the country in order to meet the critical shortage of rubber. Already he has stopped the manufacture of almost every type of civilian merchandise requiring rubber, just as his associate, J. H. Berry, has prohibited the manufacture of private passenger cars for the duration of the war.

There is no saying where these war industry controls may end, once they begin. George Bateman, as Metals Controller, is responsible for conserving the shrinking stock pile of tin. With one stroke of the pen he barred from grocers’ shelves

a dozen kinds of vegetables, preserves, etc., which housewives had been accustomed to buy. Chemical Controller J. D. Lorimer has impounded the materials which gave us anti-freeze. As well, the fact that he has cut from 600 to 15 the colors in which bakelite products may be made means fewer shades for milady’s buttons. His control of glycerine, used for explosives, stretches not only into cosmetics but it adds to the cigarette ash on father’s vest. (Cigarettes do not last as long; they are drier and their ash is crumblier since Mr. Lorimer curbed the use of slow-burning agents in their manufacture.)

Most versatile of all the controllers is Mr. Williamson, Controller of Supplies. As well as rubber, he holds life or death power over the use, production, sale or distribution of silk, cork, electrical appliances, bicycles, metal furniture, kapok, manila hemp, coffins, sewing machines, toys, stoves and, indeed, anything else which may be declared by the Minister to be a "supply” for war purposes. 'It takes twelve closely-printed pages just to list the number of orders and regulations which have come from his office since he left his job as vice-president of Wood, Gundy and Company, Ltd., at Vancouver, last August.

Note: Production of raw materials is not included in this summary.

S.H 1J11PS

Types b&ng bulk: Cargo, 2; naval, 40 No. of yards: Large, Il; small, 58. No. of workers 40,000 Cargo ships ordered 172 Value of orders $550,000,000


Types being built .8 No. of plants 12 No. of workers 42,000 Planes built to Dec., 1941 3,800 Planes on order 10,000 Value of orders $500,000,000


Types: Chemicals, 12; Explosives, 8. No. of projects 25 No. of workers 45,000 Deliveries to end of 1941: lb. 150,000,000 Monthly copacify, 1942: lb. 70,000,000


Shell types produced .20 Bomb types produced 2 No. of shells delivered to end of 1941 9,000,000 Capacity per month l,200,OQO


No. of +~pes produced. 13 No. of cases delivered to end of 1941 10,000,000 Capacty per month 2,000,000


No. of fypes produced: Fuses .8 Prmers 5 G&nes 2 Produced to end of 1941: Fuses 7.OOO~OOO Primers 9,OOO~OOO


Total purchases by M~nk+ry of Supply to end of 1941.. $86,000000 Woollen and cofton cloth purchased snce start of war would go twke around the earth.


We also produce: Armor Plate; Steel Helmets; Instruments, 47 types; Radkloca+ors; Wireless Equipment; Parachutes, 3 types; Searchlights, 9 types; Gas Masks, 2 types; Pyrotechnks, 50 types; Antisubmarine Equipment, etc.


Value of construcl4on for armed services since sian of war $2O2~5OO~OOO Dyided as follows: Air Force $153,000,000 Army. . $ 32,000~000 Navy ... $ 17,500,000

Even at that, he may be hard pressed to equal the influence of the Transit Controller, who is revolutionizing the living habits of most urban dwellers by his staggered hours program. Thousands of shopgirls in Montreal don’t have to be at work now until ten in the morning. That’s fine for sleepy-heads. But there was a big commotion when they «alized what a tough time they would

have making "dates” when they weren’t through work till 6.30.

Publicly Owned Plants

JUST about the time that "control” problems got troublesome, the job of being Canada’s No. 1 Purchasing Agent developed another kind of headache.

Until June, 1940, all the orders had been handled through direct purchase, generally by tender. Now vast new war plants had to be built. How would they be financed? Who should build or operate them?

There was another side to the same problem. A big share of the new orders was for equipment and materials ill-adapted to peacetime needs or require-

ments. Was industry to be asked to do the job itself, or would it be best to have the orders handled directly by the government?

Two solutions were found. In most cases the Department said to the manufacturer: "You build the plant at our expense. We will provide machin ery, equipment and, if necessary, the working capital. You operate the plant, sell us the goods at cost, or we will pay you a management fee for doing the job."

To date, more than $500,000,000 of public funds have been spent in this way. In many cases the firms have the option of buying the plant or the equipment or both from the government, either over a short period of time or else at the end of the war. Where there is no arrangement for sale, once the war is over it is presumed that the government will lock the key in the door and await a favorable opportunity to dispose of the property.

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The other solution was novel, revolutionary. It has worked so efficiently that other countries (United States included) have followed our lead. Today there are eighteen Crown companies, run precisely like any other private business but responsible directly to the Minister of Munitions and Supply, Hon. C. D. Howe. Capital advances to these companies now total over $70,000,000. They employ or are responsible for contracts providing direct employment for close to 85,000 workers. Individually, they are responsible for most of Canada’s chemicals and explosives program; are producing hundreds of Anson bombers; straddle the shipbuilding field with cargo ship contracts for $385,000,000; sell munitions and supplies in the United States; manufacture Lee-Enfield rifles and Sten sub-machine guns; build over 8,000 low-priced houses for warworkers; produce fire control instruments, optical glass and secret devices never before made in this or any other country; conduct a salvage business in old machine tools as well as purchasing and distribution of $60,000,000 worth of new ones.

What happened in most cases was something like this: Mr. Howe would telephone a top-flight industrialist —ask him to be president or general manager of the new venture. Back the industrialist would go to Montreal or Toronto with power to form his own board of directors, organize staff and personnel and get the job done. Responsibility stems directly from the Minister himself. There is the minimum of red tape, none of the customary restrictions usually associated with a civil service undertaking. Telephones, for example, can be ordered without the customary Ottawa routine of moving governmental heaven and earth.

In many cases the actual manufacturing is done by the company. In others, the Crown corporation lets the contracts and supervises the work of production. A few of these companies are purely administrative. Two of the earliest were set up to deal in rubber and silk. Another dealt in raw wool until just a few weeks ago when its powers were transferred to a new Prices Board authority. Another company took over the shipbuilding plant formerly owned by the Italian ex-internee, James Franceschini. A very recent one was set up to utilize skilled civilian enemy aliens in the design, repair and manufacture of machinery and machine tools. Just formed is a company to take charge of the whole program for the manufacture in Canada of synthetic rubber.

No matter how different their job or organization, all these companies . have one thing in common—they are the creatures of this three-ringed circus of Mars whose headquarters now sprawls through nearly four miles of corridors in four temporary buildings west of Parliament Hill. Head-office staff alone has mushroomed in two years from 200 to 3,000.

Some of the Results

JUST how it works as efficiently as it does is still something of a mystery. Once upon a time (in June, 1941) a zealous head-office official did take time to draw an organization chart or family tree of the Department. It got out of date so quickly that no one has had the heart to tackle the job since.

Figures also get out of date quickly, but here are a few impressive facts to highlight what the Department is responsible for on the production front: Our aircraft plants, which produced forty planes a year before the war and only 3,000 in the entire 1914-18 conflict, now spread over 5,000,000 feet of floor space—equivalent to forty city blocks. The backlog of orders for our eight types of

plane (two of which are secret) totals $500,000,000.

Plane overhaul and repair will mushroom this year to a job equivalent in output to the entire peacetime production of automobiles in Canada. There will be 75 plants, 20,000 workers on this job in 1942.

In 1938 Canada’s shipbuilding plants employed 3,500 men and 52 women. They turned out $11,000,000 worth of work. Today employment is rated at 40,000, with value of orders well over the $500,000,000 mark.

The automotive industry is now completely “converted” to war work. Its proud boast is that it turns out a war machine every three minutes. The industry now produces 160 types of machine. It has sent 200,000 overseas. One motor company is now preparing to produce Canada’s first airplane engine.

One famous gun plant—largest of its kind in the Empire—now turns out big 25-pounders in fewer manhours than are required to make them anywhere else in the world.

It is this same plant which has set up new records in pioneering another important phase of the Department’s work—the “bits and pieces” program. Of the 1,286 parts and 300 accessories which comprise this gun, 529 are subcontracted among seventy firms in all parts of Ontario and Quebec. Tnese subcontractors range from a two-car garage operated by its owner and two helpers and $4,000 worth of machinery, to a spick-andspan $300,000 machine shop employing 600 men and specially built for the purpose.

This bits and pieces program now extends from coast to coast and across to Newfoundland. It is making possible a speed-up and an increase in Canada’s war effort by utilizing management and machinery which might otherwise be idle. It is helping to solve the man-power and machinetool problem by spreading the work among small shops and small communities and utilizing waste hours in plants not yet converted to war work.

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Guns are little use without ammunition. So Canadian munitions plants are turning out a volume and variety of shells and ammunition that staggers prewar imagination. In one community in Quebec are two plants, one of which turned out ammunition full blast in 1914-18. Today these two plants turn out more bullets in two months than the original plant produced during the whole of the Great War. And unit costs are steadily dropping. Recently the Department was offered some ammunition manufactured by a famous concern in the United States. It was found that we were turning out a similar product at one third less than the American price.

Our twenty-three chemical and explosive plants (most of them built since the war began) represent an investment of well over $115,000,000. We are supplying urgently required chemicals to the United States and other dominions. Our production of -500-pound aerial bombs (made on a site which was a blueberry patch not many months ago) is enough for 100 tons of nightly strafing over Germany. We turn ôut an infantry tank every eight hours at Montreal and are adding new important types of scout, scout-armored and other “fighting” vehicles in 1942.

Feeding, Clothing, Housing

APART from this steady and inL creasing flow of weapons to all parts of the United Nations battle front, the job of feeding, clothing and housing Canada’s 400,000 soldiers, sailors and airmen goes on apace. Back in the last war a soldier’s ration list contained about fourteen items. Today it is up to sixty-three, which

accounts in part for the 1.5 million dozen eggs, 657,000 gallons of fresh milk and 3,834 tons of fresh vegetables purchased in one quarter of last year. Total clothing purchases by the Department are now past the $110,000,000 mark, and woollen and cotton cloth purchased since the outbreak of war would go twice around the earth. In the last three months of 1941, the Barracks Stores Division bought 37,692 pillows, 84,060 mattresses and 10,000 clasp knives.

Since the war began, another branch of the Department has built over $200,000,000 worth of barracks, hutments and defense projects of one sort or another. This is apart from purchases of $2,000,000 worth of paint, $3,000,000 worth of hardware, $7,000,000 worth of kitchen and dining room equipment and $22,000,000 worth of lumber and building supplies.

The end is not yet in sight.

For 1942 alone it is estimated that the number of warworkers employed directly on war jobs and services ancillary to the war program will increase by 100,000. Dollars have never been an obstacle to added production, and only now is the pinch of management and materials beginning to circumscribe our effort in any appreciable degree.

By habit, departmental officials, when pressed for an answer as to when production will reach a limit, say: “Another six months.” So far the mirage keeps moving ahead. Today it may be a thirty-five million dollar synthetic rubber program which upsets calculations. Tomorrow it will be something else just as pressing to test the temper and versatility of this unique wartime mechanism.