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War Economy

Bulk Purchases of Farm Products

Bulk Purchases of Farm Products

Markets for meat, butter, cheese and wool were, as far as was possible under war conditions, assured by the bulk purchase arrangements with the United Kingdom.2 The United Kingdom was concerned primarily with safeguarding her own supplies of food. She needed all New Zealand could produce of most commodities. Indeed, for much of the war period she was urging New Zealand to step up production.

Over the war years, New Zealand's volume of exports averaged about 1 per cent above the average for the years 1936 to 1938. Under normal conditions this small increase could not have been considered particularly satisfactory. Even allowing for Reverse Lend-Lease supplies, which were not recorded as exports,3 it was disappointing in the years when British foodstuffs were severely rationed. However, the great bulk of New Zealand's exports came from the farms, and reference has already been made to the shortage of labour and the interruption to supplies of fertilisers and other farming requirements which tended to hamper farm production.2

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black and white photograph of loading ships

loading butter for export
Exports of food were New Zealand's outstanding contribution to the Allied economic war effort

black and white photograph of butchery

saving scarce shipping space
Telescoping lamb carcasses to make the best use of reduced refrigerated shipping space

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black and white photograph of wool bales

unshipped wool
By the end of the war stocks of wool in New Zealand were equivalent to a full year's production

black and white photograph of grounded ship

thePort Bowenaground near wanganui, 1940
Her refrigerating equipment was salvaged to augment scarce cool-store facilities

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black and white photograph of sailing ship

shipping shortages
The barque Pamir, seized as a prize in 1941, was a valuable addition to New Zealand's depleted shipping

black and white photograph of agreement signing

reciprocal aid agreement, united states – new zealand
Seated from left to right: Sir O. Dixon, Australian Minister to U.S.A.; Viscount Halifax. British Ambassador; U.S. Secretary of State, Cordell

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black and white photograph of unloading goods

war supplies from overseas
Wellington Harbour Board's floating crane Hikitea unloading a tank from the Akaroa

black and white photograph of construction materials

prefabricated buildings in the pacific
Troops unloading New Zealand prefabricated buildings ‘somewhere

2 See also Chapter 8.

3 See also p. 377 for a discussion of the effect of supplies to United States forces.