100 Years Ago: 45,000 Canadians Are in Hospitals, Save Hard Coal

The Intelligencer December 4, 1918 (page 1)

“45,000 Canadians Are in Hospital. Ottawa. There is no prospect of any diminution in the work of the Board of Pension Commissioners for some months to come. There are in Canada at the present time approximately 7,000 soldiers under treatment or receiving vocational training who are in receipt of pensions.

The evacuation of the numerous hospitals and convalescent homes all over Great Britain will result in a large influx of Canadian invalided soldiers whose case for pensions will have to be considered. A rough estimate places the number of Canadian soldiers at present in British hospitals alone at 45,000. It is possible of course, that many of these may be eventually deemed as fit.

With the cessation of hostilities it is expected that a large number of Canadian pensioners who have remained in the Old Country and whose pensions have been paid through the British branch of the Board of Pension Commissioners will probably evince a desire to return to their native soil. During the war many partially disabled soldiers have been transferred to the non-combatant units, such as forestry, pay corps, etc., and the claims of these men will have to be considered by the board.”

The Intelligencer December 4, 1918 (page 3)

“Urges Consumers To Save Hard Coal. A review of the coal situation coupled with a soberly worded warning that Ontario will be face to face with a serious coal shortage before spring, is issued by the Provincial Fuel Controller, R. Home Smith. …

‘The Fuel Administration, reluctant as it is to interfere with the public or to make regulations, has no option but to insist that bituminous coal and wood be substituted for the use of anthracite in every building in the Province of Ontario which is fitted with a furnace in which bituminous coal or wood can be used. This rule will apply to all buildings, but the largest saving can probably be made in public or semi-public buildings. It is therefore advisable that all occupants of such buildings should at once set their house in order.’

The Controller warns owners of office buildings, apartments, warehouses, factories, etc., to make arrangements at once to sell their coal and divert shipments not yet received. Those who do so will benefit compared to those who are forced to substitute under the regulations to be issued. …

In concluding, the Controller says: ‘Speaking generally, there is no longer any doubt that the anthracite situation in the province will be serious, and unless the public co-operate and where possible take steps to protect itself by the substitution of wood, buckwheat and bituminous coal conditions may become critical. There is, however, no reason for panic, and we will come through the winter satisfactorily, if we, one and all, save coal and co-operate in the observance of the fuel regulation, for the spirit which won the war can and will solve every peace problem.’ ”