HIST 261: World War II 1
March 14th 2014
Maurice Duplessis: premier of Quebec, opposed the war, felt the war measures act was against FC’s
right, he said a vote for liberal was a vote for conscription.
Mackenzie King feared Canada would be further divided, and wanted Duplessis removed from office,
he had three ministers (LaPointe, Power, Cardin) from Quebec who were willing to stand up to
Duplessis: said they would resign if Duplessis was reelected. They said that if they resigned there would
be no one to prevent conscription.
● Duplessis was defeated in October 25th 1939 and replaced with Godbout.
Mackenzie King was having to balance the antiwar sentiment of Quebec with the prowar efforts in
Hepburn (premier of Ontario) condemn King’s lack of wartime leadership, King saw this as an
opportunity and held an election (his 5 year mandate was almost over). He won his election in 1940,
Federal liberal took over 50% of the votes.
German was conquering both Poland and the Netherlands. France surrendered to Germany in June
1940. Canada became Britain's main ally. In August 1940, King was invited to New York by
Roosevelt. The Augsburg agreement established a joint unit of defense, the first of it’s kind in North
America. Canada agreed to the Continental Defense alliance as they knew they couldn’t defend their
shores without help and couldn’t rely on Britain for help.
Wartime Economic in Canada
Canada used the War Measures Act to take control of economic, wage and price controls were put
into place to control inflations. It allowed for prompt action without parliamentary debate.
By the end of 1940, full employment was insight. Canada built up a much larger army, constructed
dozens of warships and warplanes. The entire entire economy became based on war.
They encouraged people to invest in war bonds (called victory bonds), and used the revenue to build
bombs. Rationing occured (Sugar, tea, coffee, meat, and gasoline). C.D. Howe oversaw munitions. He
created crown corporations.
Women entered the workforce: 1.2 million joined the workforce, showing that they could do these jobs
and were willing to do them. The department of labour encourage women to “roll up their sleeves to
victory” to “back them up to bring them back”. Incentives were offered to attract women into cities,
workplace day care was offered in 1943, income tax was adjusted. Many women volunteered making HIST 261: World War II 2
parcels, recycling paper, metal, and glass. Women also served in the war, they were subordinate to men
of the same rank, payed less, and could only command women.
Given the german victories, Canadian demanded that more should be done. The National Resources
Mobilization Act required that Canadians placed person and their property at the disposal of the crown
at any way deemed necessary to the crown. It authorizes compulsory service for civil defense. Montreal
mayor C. Houde told reporters that he was going to advise Quebecers to not register. He saw this act
as conscription. Government censors removed his remarks from newspapers and he was arrested and
placed in an internment camp.
Lend Lease Act March 1941. This allowed Britain to defer payments. This caused anxiety for fear
they would lose British business, Britain was pressuring Canada to give them better terms. King got the
US to make substantia