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CANADIAN INDUSTRY   139

component parts has increased so largely as to require a more highly organized department to ensure efficient co-ordination and prompt deliveries." The operations of the Munitions Board were thenceforth practically outside the range of public criticism, which was a very good thing for everybody concerned. The controversy over the Shell Committee finally took shape in certain charges of a very vague character in Parliament and an investigation by a Royal Commission, which elicited nothing more surprising than the fact that agile intermediaries had succeeded in landing a few secret commissions in the earliest days of the Committee's work, as might well have been expected in so novel, unorganized, and little under-stood a business.

Mr. Hichens' description of the growth of the munitions business in Canada did not exaggerate in any way. At the end of 1915 Canada was producing the astonishing quantity of 1,100,000 shells a month, valued by Sir Edmund `talker at $30,000,000. There were 422 plants at work on different parts of this production. The requirements of the British authorities had changed during the year from empty shell-cases to fixed (loaded and complete) ammunition. Orders on hand amounted to 14,800,000 shells, while 2,000,000 fixed and 6,000,000 empty shells had already been shipped to the Front. Colonel J. J. Creelman, one of the first Canadian officers to see active service in Flanders, while home on leave of absence informed the Montreal Canadian Club that the Canadian ammunition which was then beginning to reach the artillery was excellent: "The quality of the ammunition which is now coming forward from Canada is just as good as anything that has been made on the other side, and a battery commander of experience, knowing the class of shell he is firing, can do just as effective work with shells made in Canada and the United States as anywhere in the Empire. Naturally there is a small mechanical error in the construction of shells and fuses, but I personally have not noticed any increase in


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