Department of Munitions and Supply
The Department of Munitions and Supply was Canada's principal agency for co-ordinating domestic industry during WORLD WAR II.
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.