ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED | JANUARY 8, 1944 | CANADIAN COUNTRYMAN
This cartoon originally appeared in the January 8, 1944 issue of Canadian Countryman. It depicts a giant empty bowl representing “The world’s food needs” waiting to be filled by a diligent Canadian farmer. It reflects an understanding that with the Second World War heading in the direction of total Allied victory, Canada’s vast agricultural resources would be needed to help feed a war-ravaged world.
This sentiment took on the force of official government policy several years later with the inauguration of the Colombo Plan in 1950. Developed by Commonwealth nations (and later joined by the United States), the Colombo Plan provided development assistance to south and southeast Asian countries with the explicit purpose of forestalling communist insurgencies. With the violent partition of India and Pakistan in 1947, food and refugee crises followed, threatening to destabilize these valuable members of the Commonwealth. As a result, Canada pledged $10 million worth of wheat in the first year of the Colombo Plan alone.