Chocolate bars and rubber boots : the Smallwood industrialization plan

Letto, Douglas Mervyn (1995) Chocolate bars and rubber boots : the Smallwood industrialization plan. Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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Abstract

The Confederation of Newfoundland with Canada in 1949 was a mixed blessing. On the plus side, Canada's array of social programs and its strong economy gave much-needed security to Newfoundland and its people. On the minus side however, Newfoundland became, overnight, part of the Canadian common market. This new relationship meant the end for many local manufacturers and the loss of a substantial number of jobs. In addition, Confederation brought down immigration barriers between Newfoundland and Canada, thereby providing a borderless escape route for Newfoundlanders intent on finding improved economic conditions. Stepped-up out-migration was viewed as a serious problem by the new province's first government. -- This thesis traces the Smallwood government's first major response to the challenges posed by Confederation. Out of it came an industrialization policy that would lead to the establishment of sixteen-sponsored industries and the expenditure of two-thirds of the cash surplus accumulated during the Commission of Government period. -- The industrialization program was poorly planned, both in terms of the business partners it sought and the industries it funded. In the end, most of the new industries failed, without having returned a penny in principal or interest to the Newfoundland government which bankrolled the program with loan guarantees. -- Chapter One outlines the environment in which Smallwood created the industrialization program, and introduces his economic czar and confidant, Dr. Alfred Valdmanis. -- Chapter Two attempts to capture the deal-making and the political rhetoric through which the program developed. It reveals the first signs of duplicity on the part of the government in its public and private musings about the program. -- Chapter Three gets to the heart of the crisis the industries found themselves in, and details the internal management of the crisis both from inside the companies and inside government. -- Chapter Four provides a broader perspective of the development dilemma faced by small economies, by focusing on the case of Nova Scotia and its experience with Industrial Estates Limited. -- Chapter Five places the failure of the Smallwood program in the context of five distinct economic development efforts in the post-Confederation era. The most recent effort was unveiled in late 1994 by the Liberal government of Clyde Wells.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
URI: http://research.library.mun.ca/id/eprint/5799
Item ID: 5799
Additional Information: Bibliography: leaves [98]-101.
Department(s): Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of > Political Science
Date: 1995
Date Type: Submission
Geographic Location: Canada--Newfoundland and Labrador
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Economic development projects--Newfoundland and Labrador; Newfoundland and Labrador--Economic conditions--1949-; Newfoundland and Labrador--Politics and government; Newfoundland and Labrador--Economic policy

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