100 Years Ago: Ad for Hydro Electric Irons, Food Controller Speaks

The Intelligencer September 27, 1917 (page 2)

“Fuel Control—A War-time Measure. When we wasted food, we were restrained by decree. If we waste fuel, similar action will follow. There is one way in which we can co-operate with the Government, while simplifying our own living, that is by ironing with Hydro Power which the waterfalls of Ontario supply.

Use the Hydro Iron for ironing day. It is economical, saves the coal and wood supply, makes the day easier. Thousands of households are doing it.

Hydro irons cost $4.00. They are guaranteed for 5 years. Hydro-Electric Power Commission of Ontario.”

The Intelligencer September 27, 1917 (page 6)

“Ottawa. An excessive number of middlemen is the greatest obstacle to the reduction of prices, and under present conditions the adoption of a drastic policy of arbitrary cutting would mean ‘temporary ruin to every city and town in the country,’ according to a statement by Hon. W. J. Hanna, Food Controller, in an interview with the Canadian Press, Ltd. …

‘I must remind those Canadians who are perhaps unaware of the fact, that seven main factors may be said to govern the present prices of food: (1) The disproportion between demand and supply, consumption and production. Food cannot be cheap while there is such a growing disparity between the numbers of producers and the numbers of consumers. (2) Unrestrained competition between great foreign buyers of foodstuffs in our markets. (3) Unequal distribution of the available supplies, surplus production in one province being unavailable for provinces in which shortages exist. (4) The food speculator. (5) The greedy middleman. (6) The supernumerary unnecessary and inefficient middleman, and (7) The waster. …

The first duty of the Food Controller, let me remind you, is not to cut prices, eliminate middlemen, sell goods at cost, or correct in a day economic evils which an unthrifty and luxurious use has allowed, even encouraged to grow up, but to protect Canada, the Canadian troops, and our share of the war of the Empire against disaster through famine—I use the word without any exaggeration. I can do this only by decreasing consumption, and as far as possible increasing production.”