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136   DAYS OF PREPARATION

sums expended upon the enlargement of the transportation system.

In the previous railway-building era in Canada, that of the construction of the Canadian Pacific Railway's original main line, Canadian iron and steel were not very largely used. Even at the beginning of the twentieth century, steel rails were not made in Canada. They were first rolled in May, 1902, at Sault Ste. Marie, and it is significant of the difficulties against which Canadian promoters of this industry have had to contend that the Sault works were closed down in December of the same year, largely as a result of the deliberate attempt of German rail manufacturers to destroy the new industry in its swaddling-clothes by selling quantities of rails to Canadian railways at less than the regular market quotations. There was no duty on rails at that time, and the proposal to establish one was fought with bitterness by the agrarian interests, on the ground that it would increase the capital cost of railways and therefore the price of transportation. Indeed the favours accorded to the Canadian iron and steel industry have always been regarded with a particularly jealous eye by Canadians engaged in the "natural" or "basic" industry of agriculture; but by its services to the economic interests of the Dominion and the military interests of the Empire during the war, this industry would seem to have justified all the sacrifices that have been made in its behalf.

The birth of the shell business in Canada took place on September 8th, 1914, when the Minister of Militia appointed what was called the Shell Committee to super-vise and promote the manufacture of 18-pounder shrapnel in Canada for British use. The Committee was composed of Colonel (later Sir) Alexander Bertram (chairman), Thomas Cantley, George W. White, E. Carnegie, Colonel Benson, and Lieut.-Colonels Greville-Harston, Lafferty, and David Carnegie. The question of shell-making in Canada had been much mooted from the earliest days of the war; but Canadian manufacturers exhibited an extreme


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