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Canada and the War
Clarence Decatur Howe (1886-1960)- AN19780519-052
Clarence Decatur Howe
(1886-1960)

The War Economy and Controls: C.D. Howe

Clarence Decatur Howe (1886-1960) was the czar of Canada's economy, a dynamic entrepreneur who ran the government's war production programme as head of the Department of Munitions and Supply. Assisted by a team of businesspersons, he led the Canadian industry's effort to manufacture vast amounts of supplies of every kind - ships, aircraft, motor vehicles, weapons, ammunition, radar and radio equipment - for the Canadian armed forces and for Britain and the Allies as well. His department created Crown corporations, uniquely Canadian public businesses, to produce items, such as synthetic rubber, where no industry had previously existed. In October 1944, he added the responsibility of Minister of Reconstruction to oversee the transition to a peacetime free-enterprise economy, aiming to avoid widespread unemployment and inflation. He soon became known as the 'minister of everything.'

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