CBC Digital Archives

A wartime visit with the Foreman family

In case you hadn't noticed, radio in the 1940s is rather officious -- politicians, pundits, luminaries and celebrities have lots of airtime; ordinary citizens do not. That's what makes Our Canadian Homes so refreshing: the show takes listeners right into the homes of "representative Canadian families" to let folks describe their daily lives in a time of war. This week: Winnipeg shopkeeper Eric Foreman, his wife and two girls talk about getting by without vacations, sugar or birthday parties. 
• This broadcast was the third in the new Our Canadian Homes series. The CBC Program Schedule described the show as "a series of actuality interviews with typical men and women of Canada and representing many types of endeavour. Lawyers, merchants, housewives, factory workers -- they all have a reason for making their utmost contribution to victory. Many of them are making great sacrifices. Some of them are telling why."

• The 1991 Broadcasting Act entrusted the CBC with keeping an "arm's length" relationship with the federal government, but in 1942 the crown corporation had few qualms with acting as its mouthpiece. "Again the CBC has worked in close cooperation with the government," the 1941-42 annual report boasts. "More and more departments have come to look to the CBC for aid in publicizing government policy and legislation, and in promoting national campaigns and appeals."

• The CBC worked hard to promote War Savings and Victory Bond campaigns. Such campaigns were introduced in the First World War, but became enormously popular during the Second World War. Radio programs like this one were liberally peppered with mentions of how important they were, and film newsreels and posters urged Canadians to "Buy Victory Bonds!" Over the course of nine victory loan offerings between 1940 and 1945, Canadians bought over $13 billion in bonds (worth almost $150 billion in 2004 dollars).

• The Canadian government raised further funds by implementing the Income Tax and Compulsory Savings legislation, with mandatory payments taken from workers' paycheques. The money was to be refunded after the war.
Medium: Radio
Program: Our Canadian Homes
Broadcast Date: July 24, 1942
Guests: Eric Foreman, Joyce Foreman, Doreen Foreman, Florence Foreman
Reporter: John Kannawin, Wilf Davidson
Duration: 14:30

Last updated: October 2, 2013

Page consulted on December 6, 2013

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