100 Years Ago: Citizens’ Welfare League of Belleville Supports Prohibition, Ad for Women to Work in Napanee Canning Factory, Women and Returned Soldiers for Munitions Jobs

The Intelligencer April 12, 1917 (pages 1, 2)

“Under the auspices of the Citizens’ Welfare League of Belleville, a public meeting was held in the City Hall last evening, the object being to discuss Dominion prohibition, and endorse a petition which will be presented to the Dominion Parliament and Senate, asking that a Dominion Prohibition Act be passed.

When the meeting opened seven men, about twenty women, and a few children were present, but later in the evening a few more came in. Dr. Yeomans was voted to the chair, after some moving pictures had been shown. Dr. Yeomans, in opening the meeting, said he was sorry that the attendance was not larger. …

The temperance people of Ontario were cheered by the result of the vote given in Belleville for local option. The temperance people were pleased at the Provincial Act passed in Ontario, but the importation of liquor from Quebec to this Province was regretted. …  The Dr. referred to the ration of rum being meted out to the soldiers at the front, and stated it had been demonstrated that it was not necessary, but that it did deteriorate a soldier’s power in warfare. …

Mr. David V. Sinclair followed in his usual brusque and vaporing style, by regretting the smallness of the attendance and telling the clergymen of the city that it would have been ‘better for them to be present with their flocks than attending other meetings,’ and ending by declaring that ‘it was a shame, but a fact, that we belong to the greatest nation of drunkards in the world.’

Rev. Mr. Littlewell of Toronto, was the last speaker. …  Let us clean things up so that when the boys come back from the front, there will be no temptation in store for them in regard to the liquor traffic. …  A motion prevailed authorizing the chairman to sign the petition on behalf of those present.”

The Intelligencer April 12, 1917 (page 5)

“We Want 50 Women To Work in Our Canning Factory in Napanee! Packing Pork and Beans for the British War Office. Good Wages. We Will Pay from $8.40 to $9.00 Per Week for Beginners. No Experience Necessary. Appy to—Wm. Davies Co., Limited, Napanee.”

The Intelligencer April 12, 1917 (page 7)

“Munition Making Myth. The able-bodied male who makes munitions in Canada is no longer entitled to the belief that he is thereby doing his bit. The experience of Great Britain and France indicated the littleness of his claim many months ago, and what women workers have now done in this Dominion knocks the props from under him. …  Almost every operation in a modern munition plant can be done by an intelligent woman or partly disabled men. There are a large enough number of women in Canada ready and willing to take their place at the munition bench, and where men must be used, the returned soldier can fill that want. …

It’s up to some of these imitation patriots to get out and make something approaching a real sacrifice by getting into khaki. This is not an indictment of those men doing extra skilled and special work in the making of munitions. …  The National Register should supply the means of filling any gaps that might be made in munition factories if all able-bodied eligible males were dismissed to-morrow. The Khaki Call.”