WHEN the war broke out in 1914, Germany, with her usual thoroughness, and as part of the campaign, had a carefully thought out programme of food control in readiness, and an organization,, nation-wide in extent, was immediately. set on foot. German economists had been at work on the problem for some years, in fact, and they had evolved what was supposed by them to be the most scientific system of victualling an army and a nation at war that had yet been known. History itself had up to August, 1914, furnished few instances of food control that would help as examples in the world crisis that was about to be created. The first recorded experiment was made by Caius Gracchus in Rome, and its success was not such as to commend emulation, al-though, curiously enough, his system was practically the one adopted by Great Britain when, later in the war, she had to tackle the food problem in its more serious aspects.
Great Britain, France, and Russia, not having immediate war in anticipation, had not given the same study to the food problem that Germany had done and did not at first fully realize how important it was in a struggle that might last for years. What first seriously drew attention to the necessity for food control was the dire straits of Belgium, the population of which in a few weeks was placed at the mercy of the world for food and clothing. The plight of the Belgians appealed to the United States, the greatest of the neutral nations and the one best able to deal with it. Curiously enough, and in a sense most fortunate, the knowledge and experience gained by Mr. Hoover, as head of the American Relief Commission, peculiarly fitted him for the much larger task of Food Controller of the United States when that nation decided to cast in its lot with the Allies.
It is not the intention here to discuss the various systems of food control undertaken in Europe and America or to compare their relative merits. Each as related to its own requirements and the conditions of its own country had, no doubt, its special merit. Germany, perhaps, for reasons already stated, was in a class by herself. Her system was calculated for a war lasting six months, which was the limit originally set by her, or even for sixteen months, if necessary, in which to complete offensive operations by land and sea. Economies in food supplies, as well as in war supplies generally, undoubtedly enabled Germany to carry on until the invasion of foreign territory gave access to fresh supplies. As a matter of fact, in all the warring countries of Europe the measure of food control was far from being effective in other words, was very defective until the last year of the war, and the issue depended upon food as much as, if not much more than, upon anything else. At one time, the situation began to be critical in Great Britain. On several occasions, it was seriously critical in both France and Italy, and was only saved by the assistance and supreme efforts of the United States and Canada in getting food across the seas. In this connection, Germany was not an exception. The theoretic plan of food control was perfect on paper, but it failed in its application. The German Army was kept pretty well fed, but so far as the civil population was concerned there was great in-equality in distribution and much hoarding and profiteering, with the result that the urban populations suffered cruelly and with effects which will be long felt. The agrarian population was selfish in the extreme, and the powers of evasion were greater than the powers of authority to control. This is referred to be-cause it has an intimate bearing upon the problem as it applied to Canada and the United States, whose policies throughout have been more or less in accord.
With nations at war, with war either within their own boundaries or at their own doors, the control of food, the prime essential of existence, must sooner or later become a matter of compulsion. It resolves itself into some system of control of supply and of rationing, such as Great Britain and France in the end resorted to, and very successfully, too, considering the stupendous difficulties and responsibilities which had to be faced. In the United States and Canada, the position was essentially different. While both nations were at war, they were far removed from the zone of war and its immediate consequences. In addition to that, they were great producing and exporting countries and had abundant resources. The Allied countries in Europe had in normal times to depend upon a large amount of exports, and their production during war was necessarily crippled by war effort. Great Britain eventually was able to rise to the occasion and produce largely, because she had several millions of acres of agricultural land lying fallow. France and Italy had been cultivated almost to the limit, and whole armies of men had been drawn from the land, leaving only old people and children to take their place. Not only were the necessities of Great Britain, France, and Italy to be provided for, but there were Belgium and other starving countries, in so far as it was possible, to be looked after. The peculiar problems of the United States and Canada, which were practically identical, were to feed the Allied countries of Europe and at the same time to so regulate the supply and distribution at home that there should be sufficient to go round and also that the cost to their own people should not be excessive, as the consequence of a world scarcity in food. No war in modern times has occurred during which, within certain affected areas and these areas are enlarged in proportion to the intensity and extent of operations the price of the necessaries of life has not risen above the normal, often reaching the ” famine ” stage. In a war in which 20,000,000 people were drawn from the ordinary avenues of production, it was inevitable that prices in America, which had been advancing for some years, should after the war broke out begin to skyrocket, and we shall see to what ex-tent in Canada, as well as in the United States, efforts were successful in maintaining supplies and regulating profits so that prices might remain below some reasonable maximum.
War had run for over two years before any steps were taken on this side of the Atlantic to control our vast food reserves. Indeed, the fact only seemed to emerge slowly out of the maze of war necessities as time went on. The resources of the British Empire had for two years proved so abundant that it was not until December, 1916, that food regulations even in a small way were regarded as necessary in Great Britain. Then the submarine policy of ruthlessness was inaugurated. This is an essential factor in the consideration of the date of the creation of food control in Canada. There was the further consideration that prices of the necessaries of life had been climbing in Canada from the outbreak of the war, as well as for a long time before it, and the question of the ” high cost of living ” had become a vital issue in politics. There were suspicions, if not direct charges, of “profiteering,” a word which, though not in the dictionary as yet, has now definitely been incorporated in the language. It was only after a serious depletion of British shipping and a cutting off of long voyages to Australia and New Zealand, especially, that the Canadian civilian was called upon to share directly in the food supply of the Motherland. The exigencies of the war situation in itself would have been sufficient to cause Canada to take action, had the political situation not intervened, but both together had a powerful effect. Although the United States had been for several months studying the food situation in Europe, with a view to a controllership being established, and Mr. Hoover actually for some time, along with associates, had been preparing a programme for such controllership, Canada had the honour of having the first Food Controller, so named. On June 16th, 1917, an Order-in-Council, under the War Measures Act, was passed, authorizing the creation of the post of Food Controller, and on June 21st, following, the Hon. W. J. Hanna, K. C., Toronto, late Attorney-General of Ontario, was appointed to the post. Mr. Hanna, who acted in an honorary capacity, was well known as an organizer and a man of affairs. The establishment of the Ontario Prison Farms, a new department for Canada in prison economics, was undertaken under his agis and had been successful.
Mr. Hanna had no known precedents to follow. Even had he been familiar with the details of the German system, the conditions in Germany or any other European country would have formed no useful guide to him in determining his plans for Canada. The situation involved a good deal of careful thought, and it is at least a tribute to his insight into the actual situation that when Mr. Hoover’s plans, independently formed, became known, the conclusions arrived at by the two men were much the same and the organizations created have worked along ever since on very similar lines and with very similar results. They both came to the conclusion that the basis of action should, so far as possible, be the voluntary co-operation of the people with the food administration, rather than a re-course to compulsion. Having confidence in the patriotic spirit of the people, so much alike in spirit and in the genius of their free institutions and love of liberty, both made strong appeals for the conservation of food and the increase of its production. Both, by what we call publicity campaigns, followed up these appeals through organized bureaus and did in the main succeed in securing the co-operation and the results they desired. Both received a large amount of criticism, principally because prices would persist in staying up instead of going down according to popular expectation in respect of ” controlling ” prices.
For the first six months, the Food Controller’s duties involved detailed studies of the sources of supply and stocks of food. The public had to be instructed in the necessity for patriotic carefulness in food. The public, at first, had very vague ideas of the purpose of it all, so new and strange was it to have any governmental interference or advice regarding the way of one’s living. For this purpose, one million voluntary pledge cards were circulated. The first compulsory step was taken in August, 1917, when restrictions were tentatively placed on the serving of beef and bacon in public eating-houses. From this point of departure there was an ever-widening extension calculated to secure to the board effective control of all the food existent and in prospect. On the whole, the public in Canada, as in the United States, responded in food conservation equally as well as in active military effort, which, as we know, was not by any means a complete response. As a result enormous savings were made in home methods. Waste was to a very large extent eliminated. Wheat, flour, beef, and pork, the most important food staples, were conveyed in the most direct way to the consumer, whether at home or in the trenches, with the least practicable amount of hoarding or storing and with only a reasonable ” spread ” and profit. In brief, in the face of a war so paralyzing in its effects, Canada had continuously an ample supply of food for her own use and a large surplus available for export.
On January 29th, 1918, Mr. Hanna, owing to private business demands, resigned his position as Food Controller and was succeeded by Mr. Henry B. Thomson, of Victoria, B. C., who for several months had been assisting him. It was, in fact, the practical knowledge of affairs displayed by Mr. Thomson and his success in certain important negotiations in Washington and New York that caused him to be recommended by Mr. Hanna as his successor. On February 11th, a change in designation and form of the authority was made. The Canada Food Board was created and vested with all the powers of the Food Controller. The new board was directed to report to the Governor-General-in-Council through the Minister of Agriculture. The personnel of the board nominated and the assignment of duties were as follows:
Chairman of the Board and Director of Food Conservation Mr. Henry B. Thomson;
Director of Food Production The Hon. Chas. A. Dunning, M. P. P., Regina;
Director of Agricultural Labour Mr. J. D. Mc-Gregor, Brandon;
Secretary Mr. S. E. Todd.
In making a review of the work and operations of the Canada Food Board, one or two well defined, guiding principles must be kept in mind. As Mr. Hanna pointed out in his report made to the Government on the date of his resignation, the prime object of the Food Board was not what so many persons, misled by the name, imagined. It was not so much the control of the price of food, important as that might be, but so impossible in practice, as the administration of food supplies in a way which would not only stimulate production for the requirements of the Allies, but guarantee an equitable distribution to the consumer. To accomplish this great end, the prime factor of control was found to be the licensing system. Every dealer in or manufacturer of foods was obliged to take out a license, without which he was unable to do business.
The virtue of the principle lay in the fact that from the largest flour miller to the smallest baker in the land, from the sugar manufacturer or importer to the country storekeeper, from the stockyard and the big packer down to the least of the butchers everybody in business was and is still (February, 1919), so to speak, in the hollow of the Food Controller’s hand. With the details of his business under the eye of the Controller, the right to do business was dependent upon his business conduct. Precisely the same principle governed in the United States. The objects which the boards of food control in the two countries had in view were that food should not be wasted, that it should not be hoarded, that there should be a steady flow from the producer to the consumer, that the ” spread ” or cost of handling be determined, and that there should be only a reasonable pre-war profit by the dealers. The cost to the consumer, about which voluminous criticism and denunciation have been printed from first to last, was in the end, and had to be, determined by the cost of production, the elements which entered into cost being beyond human control. The licensing system was, and must remain, the best human device for the objects in view. It steadied prices, it equalized distribution and in the most practical way prevented abuses. The dealers, after the holding of conferences, entered into the policy of the food administration in a spirit of willing co-operation and thus enabled a new departure in business to be undertaken without dissatisfaction and with comparatively little friction. It would be asking too much of human nature, even in patriotic countries in time of war, to expect that the machinery would run with absolute clock-like perfection and without those exceptions which since the world began have served to ” prove the rule.”
In the matter of exports and imports, it was import-ant that the North American continent should be made ” water-tight.” That meant that exports should not leak out to enemy or pro-enemy countries. The first interest to serve was that of the Allies fighting in Europe. It was indispensable to victory that they should be fed at all costs, and, in case there was enough and to spare, then friendly neutrals. On the other hand. only such imports as were necessary for home requirements should be allowed. For these purposes, a system of permits was established in concert, so that only the needs of the Allies and those of home production and consumption were regarded. In other words, by arrangement and agreement, trade between the two countries and foreign trade were carried on by per-mission. In the course of the last twelve months of the war, practically from November to November, the Food Board issued 14,155 export permits and 10,350 import permits. In addition to these licenses and permits, the Food Board had authority to issue Orders for the regulation of food in hotels, restaurants, and to the public eating-places, including boarding-houses, and the direction which was given to the mass of food supplies through this source is one which cannot be calculated. Altogether, up to November 1st, 1918, seventy Orders had been issued by the Food Board to regulate the current supplies. This is not a large number, considering that in the first three months of 1918 over one hundred and thirty Orders were issued by the British Ministry of Food.
In addition, however, to administration and regulation of food supplies, which were fundamentally the objects of food boards, there was an almost equally important duty imposed upon the Government, and that was the stimulation of production. It was not enough to conserve food. Its supply had to be in-creased. To win the war the armies had to be fed, and after the soldiers, the civil population, where necessary.
Careful surveys of the food supply enabled the United States and Canada to tell at any given moment the amounts available for export, and within a reason-able approximation the available shipping facilities could be determined from month to month. Similarly, the wants of the Allies were more or less a certain factor. In these ways the requirements of increased production became known and the campaign of production was based on that knowledge and was vigorously carried on in different ways. There were four staples of first importance, wheat, flour, beef, and pork (including fats and oils), actually required by the armies in the field. The first duty was to save as much of these as possible for export by using substitutes, irrespective of whether the substitutes were dearer or cheaper than the original, and the next was to produce as much as possible of everything. Having briefly outlined objects, principles and the modus operandi, it will be well to consider results, which must form the criterion of success or failure.
In the first place, Canada and the United States did not in a single instance fail in respect of their duty to the Allies, keeping them supplied until the signing of the Armistice, and being in a position to reasonably supply the requirements of the year or two in which it may be necessary, before the pre-war policy can be re-established.
Here it will be well to introduce statistics to express concretely what has been accomplished. Canada’s assistance in the supply of foodstuffs, as one writer has expressed it, will be one of her greatest glories when history reviews the war. Her exports in 1914-15 amounted to $187,011,300 and by jumps increased in 1917-18 to $710,619,400, a result which is eloquent in itself. But that does not tell the whole story. In the year preceding the war Canada was an importer of foodstuffs as well as an exporter, and, in that year, in butter, cheese, eggs, lard, bacon, ham, and beef she imported to the extent of $8,600,000. Since the outbreak of war Canada has practically ceased to import these articles, so that in four years we may easily put to our national credit $35,000,000 or more. The figures in production for three years under the heads of three chief sub-divisions are very suggestive:
1916 1917 1918
Fisheries $23,274,772 $24,993,156 $33,670,846
Animal Products 111,331,332 157,415,287 163,488,362
Agricultural Products 396,455,537 427,927,335 440,744,430
$53I,061,641 $610,335,778 $637,903,638
A final computation for the years 1917 and 1918 in respect of acreage of field crops shows that in the former year it amounted to 42,583,288 and in 1918 to 57,299,637 acres ; and in respect of production of grains 725,972,020 and 828,682,900 bushels respectively. Canada, therefore, not only looked after her own requirements in food, making her imports in certain lines, but tremendously increased her exports, thus by saving and by increased production fulfilling the supreme purposes for which the Food Board was called into existence. In war, the cost of food is not in itself the desideratum so much as that there may be plenty for the forces engaged.
The most striking example of Canada’s quick aid to the Motherland is found in the so-called ” Commandeering ” Order-in-Council covering the stocks of butter during the month of October and the first week of November, 1918. By what might be called a stroke of the pen, millions of pounds of butter were made available to relieve the extreme shortage in Great Britain. Meanwhile 25,000,000 pounds of butter held in stock on the Canadian market, regulated as to profit thereon, was used as a lever to keep down home prices so that there could be no profiteering at the expense of patriotism. It did so most effectively.
An immense amount of criticism was launched against the Canada Food Board because of higher prices and of innumerable items of detail, as they appeared to have a local effect and to spring from local causes, without reference to the working out of policies on a wider scale, in which details are merely incidental and often beyond the control of a central organization. The larger and more important results obtained have already been referred to. A short review of some of the necessary activities leading to those cumulative results may be detailed.
Numerous measures were brought about through the organization of the Food Board, working from end to end of the Dominion. The results of these may be summarized briefly as follows : –
Waste of food was made an offence subject to heavy penalties ; bakery products were standardized so as to prevent extravagant use of wheat; manufacture of products involving large use of sugar or fats was prohibited ; saving of wheat was effected by regulation of the trade in package cereals, dealers being required to substitute other cereals for part of the wheat in the manufacture of the products; flour was standardized and the milling extraction lengthened for wheat, 74 per cent. of the wheat berry being the standard ; in cases where it was found that excessive quantities of food commodities required overseas were held, the Food Board required the sale of such excess ; public eating-places were regulated in the use of foods, meat, wheat, and dairy products; hoarding sugar or flour was made an offence subject to heavy fine or imprisonment; amounts which might be held in private households or by dealers were limited to ensure equitable distribution; control over imports and exports proved a valuable instrument in obtaining trade concessions ; use of grain for liquors was prohibited and the use of malt limited; feeding of grain to live-stock was controlled; use of substitutes for wheat flours by bakers, confectioners and public eating-places and in homes was made compulsory.
It must be understood that while the gathering of information on which to guide the war food policy was done largely by provincial committees, the actual administrative work was almost exclusively carried out through the centralized office in Ottawa. A staff which fluctuated according to seasonal demands from 120 to 190 was employed, and the mail-bag from the Food Board office was a fair index of the busy time. From August 1st to October 26th, 1918, the number of incoming letters, etc., was 271,920, while the outgoing mail in the same period totalled 372,085 letters and circulars.
While definite price-fixing was not the principal considered policy of the Food Board, it was not altogether kept out of the programme. The price of wheat, for in-stance, was fixed through the Board of Grain Super-visors. With that point to start from, millers’ profits on flour were strictly limited. The wholesale merchants’ margin of profit on wheat and other grains was so fixed that the price could not be unreasonably enhanced ; steps were taken to prevent manipulation by fictitious sales to increase the apparent profits that should be payable ; everything was done to reduce intermediate transactions in wheat, flour, grain, and, in short, all other foodstuffs, to the lowest possible number, and to make the commodity run from the producer to the last user in as direct a line as possible.
Since July, 1917, the propaganda work of the Canada Food Board has increased the consumption of fish in Canada fully one hundred per cent. compared with what it was previously. The export of Western lake fish has been cut down from eighty-five per cent. to fifty per cent. the difference being consumed in Canada. An entirely new fish industry has been established on the Pacific Coast, and two steam trawlers are now engaged in fishing for flat-fish and cod. Half a million pounds per month of these excellent fish are now being consumed in Canada. On the Atlantic, the steam trawling fleet was increased from three to five vessels. Haddock, cod, mackerel, and herring were introduced into the Ontario market, and are now staple lines in good demand. Over seventeen hundred whole-sale fish dealers are under license from the Food Board, and some twenty-six hundred retailers. A greater variety of fish at reasonable prices is now to be found in the markets. On National Fish Day, October 31st, 1918, Montreal and Toronto consumed 577,400 pounds of fish, and it is estimated that no less a quantity than 2,500,000 pounds were consumed in Canada on that day alone.
One of the greatest means which contributed to the Canadian agricultural success was the arrangement made for the purchase and re-selling of farm tractors at cost to the farmers. Over 1,123 of these were thus sold in 1918, and the probabilities are that many hundreds will be placed on Canadian farms in 1919.
In a measure like food control, practically without historical precedent and wholly unusual in a free country, it may be well to examine into its origin and legal effect. It has been said that since the war broke out in 1914 Canada has been governed by Order-in-Council. The War Measures Act gave the Government the widest possible powers in relation to authority necessary to be exercised in any direction for military purposes. The office of the Food Controller was created with extraordinary powers, which in the United States could be only exercised through the President by virtue of special acts of Congress. The objects which had to be kept in view were well defined in the terms of Order-in-Council 1460, in June, 1917, creating the office of Food Controller. They may be enumerated as:
1. To ascertain the food requirements of Canada, and to facilitate the export of the surplus to Great Britain and her Allies ;
2. To make regulations in the public interest of the people of Canada ;
3. To provide for the conservation of food and the prevention of waste in hotels, restaurants, private homes and other places.
In considering the question of food control, however, it will be seen from the objects enumerated in the Order-in-Council, the regulation of prices, so much in the public mind, except indirectly, was not included. The creation of the position of Food Controller was essentially to make a survey of the available food-stuffs in Canada and to take steps for the increased production, conservation and distribution of food-stuffs within Canada and to expedite the export of the surplus to Great Britain and her Allies. Prior Orders-in-Council, passed on the 10th and amended on the 20th of November, 1916, were enacted essentially to limit the prices of all necessaries of life, and their provisions and enforcement come within the jurisdiction of the Minister of Labour and do not really fall within the purview of this article, and would not be referred to except that in the public mind two things which were quite distinct became confused. Long prior to the war the Government had the power under the Criminal Code to deal with undue restraint of trade by conspiracy. The Order-in-Council, November 10th, 1916, as amended by Order-in-Council, November 29th, 1916, in its first part re-enacted Section 498 of the Criminal Code, leaving out the words ” unduly ” and ” unreasonably ” wherever they appeared, in-tending to make the provision stronger, but the exact effect in law has never been determined. The Order also provided against the holding or storing of goods, or the undue increase of price and the making of returns to the Minister. It was by virtue of this Order that the office of Commissioner of the Cost of Living was created, and the appointment of Mr. W. F. O’Connor was made. For a period Mr. O’Connor’s reports furnished very sensational reading in the newspapers and led to the impression that there was, in the meat packing trade at least, considerable ” profiteering.”
There were several investigations made at which it was shown that while the aggregate of profits in that respect was very large in 1916 and 1917, the rate of profits to the Canadian consumer did not exceed two-fifths of a cent per pound on bacon. Whether the evidence justified it or not no prosecutions were made. The weakness of the situation was that cases of alleged violation had to be remitted to the Attorney-General of the province in which the offence was committed, whose duty it is, as in the case of all offences against federal law, to take action.
This enactment, which by the way had enabled municipalities to require returns under oath or affirmation independent of the Minister of Labour from the very outset, continued in force until the 4th of October, 1918, by which time it seemed evident some changes should be made to make it more effective. On that date an-other Order was passed, which, in addition to all other powers, gave the council of any municipality power to appoint a committee of two or more of their own officers as a ” fair price committee ” to investigate prices of necessaries of life locally, which committee was obliged to report its findings to the council, in addition to publishing them in a newspaper, and, although publicity itself was considered to be a sufficient deterrent against violations of the law, the council were em-powered to take proceedings against offenders. They could, furthermore, report the circumstances to the Attorney-General. The Minister of Labour, to whom also the committee made a report, could also act on his own behalf or through the Attorney-General of a province. In practice, this Order was found to have certain defects and limitations, and in order to make the procedure as direct, complete, and at the same time as fair as possible, the Order was amended on the 11th of December. This enabled the committee to go beyond the limits of a municipality to the very sources of sup-ply in order to determine the cost of production and the cost of transportation, and it otherwise enlarged the scope of the powers of the committee. In order, however, that a firm or person in business may not be injured by implications of unfair dealing, as a preliminary to investigation, the council of the municipality shall first appoint a Fair Price Inquiry Committee, composed of three resident taxpayers, to make preliminary inquiry to determine whether there are grounds warranting further investigation, and such preliminary inquiry is to be held in camera. As amended, the Order gives to the people of a municipality all the powers of a Royal Commission to inquire into grievances in the matter of the price or sale of the necessaries of life, and the right to prosecute of-fenders before a competent tribunal, with powers to impose severe penalties where parties have been found guilty. In other words, the people of Canada have been provided with complete local autonomy in the matter of regulating the prices of the necessaries of life, an autonomy, however, which does not relieve the Governments of the Dominion and the provinces of their former responsibility in the premises.
Having reviewed the powers, activities, and results of Food Control in Canada during a year and a half, it is pertinent to speculate upon the future, not only the immediate future following upon an armistice and a peace in a period of transition, but as to the future in fully restored normal times. What are the immediate and the more remote prospects of food control? As a matter of fact, the obligations in respect of food were increased with the signing of the Armistice. A condition of things was then for the first time added to our responsibilities. Any necessity for feeding the enemy, which also enters as a possibility, need not obscure the issue. The imperative necessity for feeding many millions in the redeemed lands and in those which were friendly and neutral during hostilities has grown with the possibility of reaching their ports. Hemmed in by the enemy, we could not reach them, and our efforts were confined to the Allied peoples and the Allied armies in the field, who numbered 120,000,000 people. Now the unexpected addition has raised the figure to 250,000,000 people who will require to be assisted in some form or other until the next harvest. And, let it be emphasized, this does not include our enemies. It is true that with the signing of the Armistice the road has been opened to the storehouses of Australia and Argentina, where some 400,000,000 bushels are waiting to be shipped. But even with that we must seriously consider the prospects for the immediate future.
” Food Control,” it is stated in the December issue of the Canadian Food Bulletin, ” may become a more complex puzzle than during the past twelve months. The number of people who, having shared in Canada’s war, have a just claim to Canada’s food, has been added to enormously. Our first and deepest concern must be for the 75,000,000 Belgians, Serbians, Roumanians, Greeks, Czechs, and Jugo-Slays, with the odds and ends of those new, crude republics fringing the western border of what was a better Ally as a coherent empire of the ‘ Czar of all the Russias.’ In addition, there are 40,000,000 people in neutral states who are, through no fault of their own, on short rations. Difficulties of transportation have not ended. Troops must soon be sent back to their homes. Shipping for foods must continue short. Nothing has been said here for the 120,000,000 civilians on limited rations, British, French, and Italian; their case remains as urgent as ever. The ‘only factor which has changed is the elimination of the submarine. The re-establishment of peace-time conditions for all these millions will mean the continuation of all our food-saving programme on this side of the Atlantic.”
What effect will food control have on the great future? Have any of the principles of control come to stay? If it be wrong to profiteer in time of war, is it less wrong in times of peace? If it be possible to control the ” spread,” and to prevent hoarding and speculation in foodstuffs in war time, may it not be desirable for all time to come? Nor is the question of production less important now than when the war was on. We had millions of mouths to feed. The fortunes of war hung upon the ability of America to keep them fed. Canada has now created a debt of $1,500,000,000 and over, the interest on which, along with pensions, will constitute an annual charge of $100,000,000, or about three times the annual revenue of twenty-five or twenty years ago. We cannot borrow, and if we could it would only be putting off the evil day of final reckoning. We can only pay our huge war debt out of the profits of production, and, therefore, conservation and control and production remain today as during the war the greatest of our problems.