Other formats

    TEI XML file   ePub eBook file  


    mail icontwitter iconBlogspot iconrss icon

War Economy

Geared for War Production

Geared for War Production

All these changes took place with remarkably little friction. A recent writer said:1

‘The smooth change-over from peace to war was assisted by the import and export, marketing, and banking controls that the government had introduced already, and also by the fact that the government had a large works agency and owned or controlled much of the internal transport and communications system. Existing procedures served as a framework on which to build a more comprehensive regulatory system, much of which had been planned by the Organisation for National Service.2 A Minister of Supply, assisted by a small group of officials and a network of committees, investigated what should be done to stimulate and direct industry, and kept a continuous watch over supply and production. The government appointed ten controllers to regulate key commodities and services—sugar, wheat and page 69 flour, oil fuel, factories, timber, building, electricity, food, medical supplies, and mining. These men were public servants and worked under the general control of Ministers. A new National Service Department undertook the complex work of directing and controlling manpower as the country introduced compulsory military service, and geared itself to war production.’

It should perhaps be added that the switch to a war economy was assisted by the willingness of most New Zealanders, under stress, to give extra effort and make sacrifices, and by the fact that the Public Service was at its soundest after a quarter of a century of good recruitment, much of it by competitive entry.

1 Polaschek in Government Administration in New Zealand, p. 47.