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War Economy

Controls over Production

Controls over Production

It was correctly anticipated that, in war, New Zealand production would have an increasingly important part to play, both in supplying a larger proportion of New Zealand needs and in meeting the increasing demand of the United Kingdom for New Zealand food supplies. Moreover, government orders for war materials and war construction would require precedence over civilian needs. This precedence could not, without runaway inflation, be obtained by attempting to outbid civilian demand. More direct measures would be necessary.

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Sweeping powers to control manufacturing production were taken in the Factory Emergency Regulations 1939, and, on 12 September, overall control of building work was passed to a Building Controller.1 Three days later, provision was made for control of primary industries by a Primary Industries Controller.2

Thus, within two weeks of the outbreak of war, the Government had most of the administrative powers it needed to put production on to a war footing.

1 The Building Emergency Regulations 1939.

2 The Primary Industries Emergency Regulations 1939.