Daughters of the Empire, mothers in their own homes, 1929–45
During the Depression and the
SecondWorldWar the IODE’s vision for Canada was influenced by
Britain’s weakening position in relation to a strengthening
Canada. Although the influence of investments and popular culture from
the USA was increasing at that time, British immigrants were still
valued as superior to those of other races and the IODE promoted its own
SecondWorldWar: a career in the making”, Canadian Journal of History 16 (1981), 68–85.
10 TNA, CO 852/588/2.
13 C. Whitham, Bitter Rehearsal: British and American Planning for a Post-War West Indies (Westport: Praeger, 2002), p. 38; C. Fraser, Ambivalent Anti-Colonialism: The United States and the Genesis of West Indian Independence, 1940–1964 (Westport: Greenwood Press, 1994), pp. 59 and 64.
diverse landscapes, from public squares to quiet cemeteries. As in other
ventures, the IODE collaborated with different interest groups, local,
national and international. Figure 6.1 shows the
IODE assembled, in May 1939, on the eve of the SecondWorldWar at the
Cenotaph outside of City Hall in Toronto. Paying homage to
Canada’s war-dead at stone memorials has always been an important
part of the IODE
: ‘Therefore, may I say that the undeviating purpose of our
Order is to foster and maintain our Dominion and maintain for our
Dominion and our Empire our way of life, our freedom of choice and, as a
matter of fact, all that we connote or imply in our meaning of the word
Democracy.’ 11 Britain’s battered post-SecondWorldWar
economic position and the movement towards independence of Commonwealth
that could not be dictated from Britain, from colonial capitals,
or by local social elites. During the twentieth century, they would
re-emerge in the demands of SecondWorldWar veterans, the claims of the
Windrush generation, and British Muslims in the aftermath of
the 7/7 bombings.
In Britain, the revived public consciousness of the empire
resulted from the experiences of the war and anxieties
president always made a substantial address.
Because the national headquarters was in Toronto, at 182
Lowther Street, in a home donated by the Eaton family, the
department-store magnates, the IODE’s national presidents have
come largely from Toronto, or nearby parts of Ontario. Prior to the
SecondWorldWar it was not unusual for national presidents to serve for
many years. In the postwar period, however, two
from this, the forty new laboratories created across the Colonial Empire after the SecondWorldWar were said to endow Britain’s colonies with the ability to participate in the international advance of science, and therefore to operate as modern states. Science and scientists took on unprecedented importance for the British Colonial Office after 1940, both in providing solutions to practical issues that arose from the drive for development and also in demonstrating the enduring value of British interventions in the tropics and Britain’s commitment to modernising its
are politic at a time when the general question of Colonial responsibilities is under widespread criticism and when it is expedient for us to justify our position.’ 2
Interest at the Colonial Office in an expansion of colonial research had in fact existed for some time. While the rise of development as a goal of colonial policy from the 1890s onwards was accompanied by a growing belief in the importance of science and medicine, funds specifically for research were not plentiful before the SecondWorldWar. Small ad hoc grants for research were
synthetics. Chemical firms in Britain had lagged behind those of the US during the interwar period when it came to using components from oil to make their products. The SecondWorldWar was the turning point when Britain’s need for aviation fuel led to substantial expansion in domestic oil-refining capacity. Further motivation for increases in capacity came after 1947 when the need to reduce dollar expenditure prompted Esso, Shell and British Petroleum to invest in new refineries, so that by 1954, Britain was the fourth largest refiner of oil in the world. 38 With
Women, internal colonization and indigenous peoples
outside of Canada – such as Korea, India and
Africa – moving back into Canadian territory. Where aid to India
had operated during the first half of the century, in the post-SecondWorldWar years medical supplies and technology went to Korea and
Africa, and considerable aid to postwar Europe.
Extending aid to the Canadian north was part of the
territorial completion of Canadian nationalism during the 1940s