Clarence Decatur Howe's Role In WW2: A Brief Analysis

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Clarence Decatur Howe; an engineer, a professor, a businessman, a member of parliament, a cabinet minister, and a major part of Canada’s world war two(WW2) effort. C.D. Howe is historically significant because of his involvement in WW2, serving as the minister of munitions and supplies, helping with the creation of many large corporations and industries, and for helping to reconstruct the Canadian economy after the second world war. Howe grew up in Waltham, Massachusetts, and studied engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology(MIT). After graduation, Howe accepted a role at Dalhousie university in Halifax, Nova Scotia as a professor of engineering. When the engineering curriculum was removed from Dalhousie, Howe accepted a role…show more content…
This meant the Howe was responsible for changing the Canadian economy from agriculturally based to an industrial based economy. For a nation of only 11 million people, the department of munitions and supplies made a huge difference on how the war went. Howe had persuaded his contacts to come and work for him, even though most of them were conservative. C.D. Howe less of a political minister, and more about getting the job done. Canada had a very small reserve of military and transportation supplies, but the department of munitions and supplies had completely changed that. By the end of the war, the Canadian industry had spent over $10 billion dollars ($100 billion in todays currency) on 1.7 million small arms, 16 000 aircrafts, 50 000 tanks and armoured vehicles, 9000 ships, and so much more. In order to pay for this, the Wartime Industries Control Board, along with the Munitions and supplies had applied tough wages, and price controls in 1941. However, the newfound industry allowed anyone to work, who wanted to work (with restrictions on wages, and choosing and changing jobs) but after the depression of the 1930’s, it was a huge step forward. Britain was also allowed to borrow money with no interest because of the department of Munitions and Supplies (2). Having C.D. Howe run the department of Munitions and Supplies like a business led to a complete overhaul of the Canadian economy and…show more content…
This meant that Howe was in charge converting the Canadian war-time economy into a free-prise economy with minimal government control. Howe, being one of the most optimistic men in parliament believed there would be a shortage of goods rather than a surplus. The concentration of the reconstruction was to return factories to civilian and private production, and stimulation the construction industry to make up for the losses in the Great Depression. This program was very successful and the government regulations were largely abolished. Howe had changed the Canadian economy back to where it was self sustaining, and is continuing to run smoothly today (6). Clarence did not stop there either. In the 1950’s he was appointed Minister of Trade and Commerce and he focused on expanding different industries such as steel and Canada’s trade. To end his career in politics, C.D. Howe sponsored a Canadian pipeline, with government aid to a private firm. This caused criticism towards the Liberal government, and caused them to lose the next election, including C.D. Howe (5). Clarence Decatur Howe had almost converted the entire Canadian economy by him self, and kept Canada from entering into another depression. In conclusion, Clarence Decatur Howe helped Canada overcome the Great Depression, through being the Minister of Munitions and Supplies, changed the transportation industry and
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