Canada Economic Conditions in the Period 1940-1945

The latest statistics estimate the cultivated areas to be around 28,000 ha. equivalent to 3% of the country. 3/4 of the arable land is planted with cereals, among which prevail: wheat, which marks a marked decrease in areal investment (94-96,000 sq. Km. And 85-88 million q. In the period 1940-45), and ‘oats which vice versa increases in area (56-58,000 sq. km. and 56-58 million sq. km. in the period 1940-45). These two products, however, have raised unit yields in the five years 1940-45 compared to previous years: wheat from 8.3 to 9.2 q. each has. and oats from 9.5 to 10 q. The cultivation of barley is also undergoing considerable development (28-30,000 sq. Km. And 33-35 million sq. Km.). Canada remains the largest exporter of grains that come largely from the central provinces (Manitoba, Saskatschewan, Alberta) where the markets and the formidable elevators for the conservation, the selection, the loading of the product are found. Port Arthur and Port Williams, on Lake Superior, are the major ports of embarkation.

In the Atlantic provinces intensive cultivation of sugar beet (24,000 ha. And 742,000 q. In 1945), soybean (18,000 ha. And 226,000 q. In 1945), tobacco (38,000 ha. And 420,000 q. In 1945) is practiced.). In the eastern ones and in British Columbia, fruit growing gave 1.6 million quintals in 1945. of Apple; 1.1 million q. of pears; 355,000 q. of peaches; 300,000 q. of grapes.

Progress in the zootechnical field is also very strong: cattle had an annual increase of 24.2 from 1935 to 1945 and are now estimated at 10,760,000; in 1945 there were 3,622,000 sheep and 6,025,000 pigs (with an increase of 85.7 ‰ from 1935 to 1945). Equines are slightly decreasing: in 1945 there were 2,584,000.

According to Findjobdescriptions, the extent of the forest is not known precisely: according to latest estimates it seems that it covers about 3.1 million sq km. 2/3 of which in the territories between Hudson Bay and Alaska. For the other regions, the forest area is 360,000 sq km. in Ontario, of 320,000 sq. km. in Quebec and 200,000 sq. km. in Columbia. Less in the other provinces, especially in the grain-growing ones (N. Brunswick 50,000 sq km, N. Scotland 23,000, Alberta 22,000, Manitoba and Saskatchewan 20,000). The country remains the largest timber exporter in the world with an average quota of 10 million q. the year. For fishing, which has had even further development, production in 1945 is estimated at 5 million quintals.

Industry. – Canada, like other countries of the British Commonwealth, must also attribute a good part of its accelerated industrial development to the Second World War: in 1946 the total value of production was 70% higher than that of any pre-war year. Industrial production is based both on the country’s immense timber resources (see above) and on mineral reserves of all kinds. The net value of production, less costs, rose from $ 2,899,000,000 in 1938 to $ 6,737,000,000 in 1944. With the cessation of hostilities, the industrial production index in 1945 fell by 14% compared to that of 1944 and the reduction, albeit to a lesser extent, continued in 1946 and 1947.

There are 82 companies in Canada for the industrial processing of pulp and paper, which manage a total of 109 plants distributed in six provinces: their total production capacity amounts to 6,800,000 t. per year (4,300,000 tons of newsprint; 1,000,000 tons of other types of paper and cardboard; 1,500,000 tons of pulp).

In 1945 the Canadian mining industry began its reorganization and was valued, as a whole, at $ 514 million. Gold production reached a total of 2,696,727 ounces of gold up to 1945 and silver production, in relation to its increase in value on the United States market, is also slowly recovering.

Under the impulse determined by urgent war needs, coal production has also improved considerably from 9.5 million tons. in 1935, it rose four in four years to 10.9 in 1939, to 11.5 in 1943 to 14.7 in 1947; an equally strong development was the exploitation of water resources: installations from 7.5 million hp in 1935 increased to 10.2 in 1945, and the energy produced in 1945 was 40.596 million kWh. water and 1,008 thermal. Oil production, which was very modest twenty years ago (1928: 79,000 tons), rose to 1.3 million in the years 1941-43. With the end of the war there was an inflection, however not marked (0.9 million t. In 1946). The total value of mining production for 1945 was therefore $ 514,355,126.

Normally the food industry of Canada contributes about 23% to the total production of manufactured products. In 1944 the total production was valued at 1,702,330,839 dollars, due for 543,034,100 dollars to the slaughter and canning of the meat; for $ 218,143,356 for butter and cheese; for 21,790,282 dollars to the milling industry; for 125,261,098 to the bakery industry and other similar products; for 107,335,254 due to the preparation of various fruit and vegetables; for $ 97,434,861 for various food products; for 86,011,499 to the chocolate and confectionery industry; for 68,882,879 to the fishing industry; for 67,497,152 dollars to the poultry industry, for 63,874,868 dollars to the sugar industry; for $ 30,663,172 per condensed milk industry. Overall, all these industries had a significant increase as a result of the war, an increase that is calculated to be about 38% of production in 1939.

Textile industries involve practically every stage of processing and are mainly concentrated in Ontario and Quebec. The maximum production in the textile industry was reached in 1942, when it reached a volume of 45.3% greater than that of 1939. It should be borne in mind, however, that the reductions in production, both in 1943 and in 1944, were relatively of little entity and that even today the volume of production as a whole is approximately 30% greater than that of 1939. The greatest increase in production occurred in the silk industry with an increase of approximately 52% compared to 1939 and a minimum of 6% in packaged products.

The Canadian steel industry is practically in the hands of three large companies that produce not only all intermediate products from the ore, but also finished products: Steel Co. of Canada Ltd, Algoma Steel Corp. Ltd and Dominion Steel and Coal Corp. The war has led to a considerable development of the steel industry, which can now be considered sufficient to satisfy the total Canadian need for such products. Overall, the Canadian steel industry has 12 blast furnaces; 137 furnaces for steel; 83 electric ovens; 3 converters. The total potential of the steel production plants, which in 1940 was 2,300,000 t., Increased in 1945 to 3,623,000 t.

The value of chemical production, which in 1944 reached a total of 730,900,000 dollars, was reduced in 1945 by 35% in relation to the abolition of contracts for the supply of explosives, due to the cessation of hostilities. In 1945 the Canadian chemical industry used 983 factories for its development, employing approximately 60,000 workers. However, it is insufficient to fully cover Canadian needs for chemicals. To get a concrete idea of ​​the influence that the war had on the development of steam railways in Canada, it is enough to consider that, while in 1938 the goods transported amounted to 26,834,696,695 tons / mile, in 1944 this figure rose to 65,998. 078.992 tons / mile, while operating expenses went from 295.705.638 dollars to 634.774.021,

Existing motor vehicles in Canada in 1938 were 1,394,853 and are now relatively little more in number, given the restrictions due to the war on the construction of new cars for individuals and the lack of gasoline and tires. In any case, the maximum was reached in 1941 with 1,572,784 motor vehicles, which fell in 1945 to 1,497,081.

The naval, aeronautical and radio communications industries have developed considerably in relation to war needs.

Canada Economic Conditions in the Period 1940-1945