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Series consists of the minutes of the Defence Committee of Cabinet, 1938-1939, memoranda of meetings of the Emergency Council, September to November 1939; and the minutes and supporting documents of the Cabinet War Committee from December 1939 to May 1945. In order to deal with the rapidly increasing volume of wartime business, it was necessary to establish efficient procedures for the work of the Cabinet War Committee, which had succeeded the Defence Committee of Cabinet and the Emergency Council in 1939. Arnold Heeney, the Clerk of the Privy Council and Secretary to the Cabinet, introduced the use and circulation of agenda, background documentation, transcripts of discussions, recordings of agreed conclusions, and summary minutes. The minutes of the Cabinet War Committee were recorded for the first time. Previously there were no minutes or record of decisions kept of meetings of the full Cabinet or of the sub-committees. The index to this series is on microfilm reels C-11789, December 1939 to December 1940 and C-4873, 1939-1945. The conversion list is available in the Government Archives Division. The finding aid consists of a general alphabetical index containing the meeting numbers at which each indexed subject was discussed (the underlined numbers), and the topic's order of appearance on the meeting's agenda. The documents are arranged both chronologically and consecutively by meeting number. The use of a conversion list is necessary to obtain the microfilm reel number on which the minutes or documents of a particular meeting appear. The original records have been withdrawn from circulation and a microfilm copy is available to researchers.
Bobine de microfilm C-4873
Bobine de microfilm C-11789
Bobine de microfilm C-4877
Bobine de microfilm C-4654
de 5667 à 5684
Copyright belongs to the Crown. In order to protect the fragile originals, the microfilm copies of these records must be consulted rather than the originals.
Instrument de recherche
The finding aid is a two part alphabetical index to the subjects discussed by the Cabinet War Committee, including references to the meeting numbers. Each part also contains a table providing the dates for the meetings and archival references for consulting the records. A paper copy of the finding aid is also available in the reference room. 2-12 90 (Électronique)
Biographie / Histoire administrative
Just prior to the outbreak of war, six sub-committees of Council were appointed (P.C. 2474 of August 30, 1939) to provide for a proper distribution of work and an effective allocation of duties among the ministers. The first was the Emergency Council. It replaced the Canadian Defence Committee which had been established (P.C. 2097, 20 August 1936) and consisted of the Prime Minister, Ministers of National Defence, Justice and Finance. It considered problems respecting the defence of the country. At the outbreak of war in 1939, the Emergency Council became the War Committee, responsible for the consideration of questions of general policy and the coordination of all operations of the government. The additional sub-committees were assigned specific areas of responsibility; supplies, legislation, public information, finance and internal.
The War Committee was the most important and active of the wartime committees of Cabinet. Between the first and last meetings, the membership of the Committee altered several times, however the Prime Minister or acting Prime Minister, the Defence ministers, the ministers of Finance and Munitions and Supply were always members. The remaining members were among the most experienced ministers of the day. The prestige of the War Committee was such that for practical purposes its decisions were that of the government. The remaining committees included committees on Legislation, Public Information, Internal Security, War Finance and Supply, Food Productions and Marketing, Shipping and Transportation, Fuel and Power and Demobilization.
This committee régime established in 1939 remained formally in existence until the end of the War. Long before the war's end, however, many of them, with the exception of the War Committee and the Committee on Demobilization, had fallen into disuse. Many of their duties were taken over by other agencies of the government or reverted to the Cabinet War Committee (Heeney, A.D.P. "Cabinet Government in Canada", CJEPS, August, 1946, pp. 282-301). The War Committee and various committees of Cabinet responsible for the war effort were abolished at the termination of the war (P.C. 5915 of September 5, 1945). RG2 General Inventory
Note sur les autres formats physiques disponibles
No de contrôl reliés
1. 1989-90/116 GAD
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