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During times of war, a message of courage

Our History: December 1943

The image on the front page of our December 15, 1943 issue carried a Christmas message to take courage during the bleak time of the Second World War. Among the news on the front page was that Manitoba’s total Victory Bond sales had reached $99,641,400, just short of the $100-million objective and that the Manitoba Chinese War Relief Fund had reached $124,000.

Elsewhere in the paper was a reminder that the Wartime Prices and Trade Board required all trucks to have the owner’s name and address on both sides in letters not less than an inch in height. There was also a regular update on expiry dates for ration books for sugar, butter, meat and preserves.

There was extensive coverage of a controversy about Canada’s difficulty in producing enough bacon to meet its contract with Britain. Progressive Conservative Leader John Bracken had apparently suggested it would be necessary to supply hogs over 240 pounds, thereby sacrificing quality. However, Agriculture Minister J.G. Gardiner responded that the industry agreed it was necessary to supply the “long, lean streaked type” that Britain required. British Minister of Food J.J. LLewellin had said that if Canada could not supply 450 million pounds of bacon per year, “I may be put in the position where I have to cut the ration from four ounces a week to three.” However, he had also warned that when the war ended, “it will be well to look around to see if the time has come to grade bacon more carefully,” an apparent hint that Danish bacon would again be preferred.

The editorial praised the “Let’s Eat” nutrition education program underway at 10 schools — topics included “The food colour chart,” “Hidden hunger and hollow hunger,” and “Grow your own and eat better.”

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