Newfoundland; Economic, Diplomatic, and Strategic Studies

By R. A. MacKay | Go to book overview

XIV
PROSPECTIVE

AS the previous chapter has indicated, Newfoundland is likely to emerge from the war with an economy not essentially different from that of pre-war years. It remains, however, to examine briefly the probable long-run economic consequences of Newfoundland's new importance in defence and civil aviation. It may also be useful to summarize briefly some of the hard facts of Newfoundland's economic and financial position which must be taken into account in public policy, whatever the shape of the post-war world may be.

The establishment of United States and Canadian bases on Newfoundland territory on long-term tenure and the enormous sums spent there on defence facilities are evidence that neither the United States nor Canada is prepared to leave Newfoundland undefended in the future; but whether or not defence activities are likely to be an economic stimulus in peacetime remains doubtful. The presence of garrison troops would no doubt tend to enlarge the internal market, but given relative stability in Western Europe after the war, establishments in Newfoundland might well be reduced to care and maintenance staffs with respect to many, if not all, defence properties. In any event, little in the way of further defence construction can be expected. But the international situation is yet far from clear and predictions as to the postwar defence policy of either Canada or the United States would be of little value. It may be, of course, that interest in Newfoundland as a defence area may induce greater consideration for it by both Canada and the United States in the matter of economic policy, but it would also be idle to speculate on this possibility.

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