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Thread: History of Small Arms Limited (October 1943 - March 1946)

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    Post History of Small Arms Limited (October 1943 - March 1946)

    Moderator note: Bullseye4mkI*'s grandfather (1906-1998) was a long time executive at Long Branch (and other entities) from 1940-1970.

    -Graduated with Honors from University of Toronto - Poli Sci/Economics 1930
    -Joined Dominion Small Arms Factory 1940
    -Assistant Secretary-Treasurer of Small Arms Ltd. 1942-1946
    -Head of Accounting-Finance, with later added responsibilities for labour relations and personnel Small Arms Division of Canadian Arsenals Ltd. 1946-1957
    -Asst./Acting Division Manager 1957-1970
    I don't think I have a lot of specifics for this period other than this '46 doc. Specific (official) info/documentation on the development and disposition of 'special weapons and prototypes', especially, in the war period would be difficult if not impossible to procure...

    I’ll eventually pass on everything of interest I have, I literally just started cataloging it. I started here only because there was a bunch of humorous internal memos attached, and correspondence with J.Kennedy regarding this missing document, and how he kept on getting delivered the first part only. Also because of the request in 1991, from the Historical Society, for this portion of the history as they were unable to locate it also…

    The first documents I actually looked at was some funny stuff about who the hell authorized the shipping of 2 'C2' rifles(def experimental and 'maybe' not federally approved) to Ghana in 1960….I’ll try to include somewhere!

    History of Small Arms Limited- October 1943-March 1946
    Prepared by the Assistant Manager, Small Arms Division, 1946.

    Commencing with the month of October, 1943; the following is a record of the activities of Small Arms Limited up to December, 1945, when all operations were taken over by the Small Arms Division of Canadian Arsenals Limited, and up to March, 1946, when all assets and liabilities of the company were turned over to the Department of Reconstruction and Supply and the company made application for the surrender of it’s Charter.

    The record for the company at this time can be best described by dividing it’s activities into three phases- those dealing with matters connected with the manufacture of it’s products, those dealing with matters connected with the general administration of the company, and those dealing with matters connected with the concluding chapter of the company’s affairs.

    (I) Concerning those matters connected with the manufacture of it’s products, it is important to note the record of production, and following that, the important phases of inspection, job instruction, time standards, process engineering, heat treating, and the development of Special Weapons.


    At the end of the 3rd quarter of 1943, total production of the No.4 rifle was 477,171 and the Sten Carbine – 71,200.

    During the 4th quarter of 1943, production suffered somewhat from a shortage of help. The year, however, closed with a total production of 564,113 Rifles and 73,407 Carbines. During this quarter, a cancellation of 70,000 Rifles was received from the Canadian Government, and as a consequence, the company changed from 3 shift production to 2 shift production. The small quantity of Sten Carbines produced during this quarter is due to a material shortage, a condition that improved during the early part of 1944.

    In this last quarter of 1943, the first shipment of the Training Rifle was made, this being a quantity of 250.

    In this quarter also, the company undertook the production of 150,000 Combination Holster Butts for the 9mm for the John Inglis Company. The engineering was completed on this project during the quarter – tools, fixtures and gauges ordered – and tool proving expected to commence in January of 1944. Production was scheduled to start in February, 1944.

    (Note-I have one of these Holster/Stocks somewhere that was used in the wood shop at LB, complete with welded up Browning 9mm pistol to check fit, unfortunately rusted to hell, I’ll post pics soon.)


    Production during the 1st quarter of 1944 was on a slightly lower scale, necessary due to adjusting the plant to lower contract requirements. Total Rifle production at the end of this quarter 633,633 and the Sten Carbine production – 88,463.
    Production while on a small scale, progressed very favorably on the Training Rifle, with a total number of 1,759 produced by March.
    Production was underway as scheduled on the Combination Holster, but assemblies were delayed due to the failure to receive the necessary hardware, supplied by the prime contractor.

    During the 2nd quarter of the year, production was steady and the plant was considered to be operating most efficiently. Total Rifle production at the close of the quarter was 700,355. Daily production was approximately 900. Sten Carbine production was also steady, and total production stood at 104,553 at the close of the quarter.

    Training Rifle production reached 3,071.

    Also during this quarter, an order was received from the Government of the United Statesicon for the production of 175,000 Magazines for the M3 Carbine. As the difference between this Magazine and the one currently being produced by the Company for the Mk.II Carbine was only slight, no difficulty was encountered in filling this order, and 101,310 were produced in this quarter.

    Production on the Combination Holster was held up during the quarter, as the hardware had not been delivered by the prime contractor.

    At the request of the Department of National Defense, a .22 practice rifle, based on conversion of the No.4 rifle was designed and developed. Six units of this Rifle were completed and the design approved by National Defense. An order for 7000 was received, with production to start in September at the rate of 1000 per month. The design of this Rifle, which led to acceptance by the Department of National Defence, was a good achievement for the engineering department of the company, and its performance equals that of any Match Rifle.

    The third quarter opened with advice from the Department of Munitions and Supply that a cancellation was underway for 50,000 Rifles on Canadian account. Production schedules were temporarily amended until the United Kingdomicon commitment for 1945 was known. At the end of the quarter, total Rifle production was 762,026 and total Sten Carbine – 112,932.

    Due to a shortage of material, production on the Training Rifle was 3,806 at the end of the period.

    Production on the .22” Rifle commenced as scheduled, and 260 were produced in September.

    In this quarter, sufficient hardware has been received for the Combination Holster to permit the assembly and shipment of 7,745. However, in the later part of August, advice was received from the private contractor that, due to cancellations, it would be necessary to terminate the sub-contract for these Holsters. Consequently, all work was stopped on this project.

    Schedules were reduced during the forth quarter of the year, and the plant converted from 2 shifts to 1 shift. Total Rifle production at the end of 1944 was 814,829 Rifles.

    Production was held up on the Sten Carbine during this quarter, awaiting clarification on future requirements.

    At the end of 1944, production of the Training Rifle was 3,974. Only a few units were required to complete the contract for this weapon.
    Production of the ,22” caliber rifle 4,237 at the close of the year.

    During the month of November an inquiry, followed by a firm order from the United Kingdom, was received for the supply of 300,000 sets of billets for the Sten Machine Carbine, Mk.V. These components consisted of roughly sawn pieces, from which butts and hand grips were to be manufactured for the Mk.V. weapon. In view of the lack of commercial facilities for doing the sawing and handling of these billets, the company purchased suitable material in plank form, had it dried to the required moisture content, and installed a small, highly efficient production unit for sawing, ‘end coating’, and packing the billets in a manner suitable for overseas shipment. At the end of the year, 26,000 billets had been produced.

    During 1944, - 644 Sniper’s Rifles were produced. The production of Sniper’s Rifles depended entirely upon the receipt of telescopes. Sniper’s Rifles are chosen from regular production, and are rifles whose performance is above the average.

    All phases of production were satisfactory during the final quarter of 1944. Careful planning kept overhead expenses down, in line with shrinking schedules and reductions in direct labour. The cost of the Rifle was under $30.00, and the Sten Carbine under $12.50.


    During the first quarter of 1945, instructions were received to proceed with the engineering, planning, and tool change necessary to produce the No.5 Rifle at a rate of 8,000 per month. No orders were received for actual production, but the engineering work pertaining to planning the conversion was in hand. Production of this rifle was not considered a major project, as most of the components in the No.5 rifle are common to the No.4 Rifle.

    An order for 40,000 No.4 rifles was placed with the company in February in order to ensure continuity of production until such a time as the British Ministry of Supply could decide whether or not to proceed with the manufacture of the No.5 Rifle. Production schedules for the No.4 Rifle were reduced to 14,000 per month, with spares – which quantity would keep all machine lines intact and provide sufficient work-in-process to follow through with the No.5 Rifle when released without loss of time.

    Total No.4 production at the end of the first quarter of 1945 was 857,820, an increase of 42,991 for the three month period
    Production of the .22” Rifle was 2,949 for the quarter, making a total to date of 7,186 Rifles.

    Production was again started on the Sten Carbine during the first quarter of 1945, and 3,397 were produced bringing the overall production up to 116,329.
    A quantity of 35 Training Rifles were produced during this period, which completed the order for this Rifle.

    During this quarter, 147,450 sets of wood billets for the Sten Carbine were produced, bringing the total up to 173,610 sets. Notification was received during the quarter of an increase in the quantity of this item on order – the new quantity to be 500,000 sets.

    254 Sniper’s Rifles were produced during this quarter, bringing production of this weapon to a total of 898.

    In the second quarter of 1945, production of the No.4 Rifle was 35,978 for the period, bringing total production up to 893,798.

    Production of the Sten Carbine for this quarter was 6,360, bringing total production up to 122,689.

    Sniper’s Rifle production fell off to 24 due to not receiving the necessary telescopes.

    Shipments of Rifles and Sten Carbines were seriously delayed during this quarter because of the change-over on very short notice from standard packaging to tropical packaging. Specifications of the Packaging Committee, as applied to these items, were not determined far enough in advance to permit smooth transition from the one type of packaging to the other.

    During this quarter, advice was received that an order for 10,450 - .22” caliber Long Branch Rifles would be placed with the company. Engineering and planning was immediately proceeded with, and it was hoped that production could be started at an early date. 24 .22” Rifles were produced during this quarter to complete the original contract for 7,210.

    Engineering, planning, tool procurement and tool proving were temporarily suspended on the No.5 Rifle to allow speedy processing of an order received for Mauser firing pin and extractor components. The company was desirous of going into production on these components by the end of July. The order was to manufacture 300,000 each of these components, and action was taken immediately to tool up for production.

    Production of the Sten Carbine wooden billets during this quarter was 106,728 with total production to date of 280,338 sets. Production has been very satisfactory on this item, but difficulty was experienced in the procurement of lumber and the necessary kiln space for drying.

    A new order was received from John Inglis and Company during this quarter for the Combination Holster. Cancellation charges had not been put through on the order for this item cancelled in late 1944, and as a consequence, sufficient material was on hand to start production. 9,793 Holsters were produced during the quarter, but again final assembly was hampered by the lack of hardware supplied by the prime contractor. Production was expected to billed up to 22,000 per month by the end of August.

    The plant, during this quarter, was operating on a 5 ½ day – 44 hour week, and monthly production was scheduled at 8,000 Rifles and spares, 6,000 Sten Carbines and spares, sliding scale production of the Combination Holster; 2,000 - .22” Rifles; 50,000 each of the Mauser firing pin and extractor components; and 50,000 sets of the Sten Carbine billets, lumber supplies permitting.

    During the third quarter of 1945, No.4 Rifle production amounted to 11,933, bringing total production to 905,731 Rifles.
    Production on this Rifle was stopped as of August 17th, upon receipt of the cancellation of Contract U.N. 8975(70,000 Rifles). All ‘black action’ assemblies as of that date were finished and packed in shipping chests, pending disposition instructions. 9,390 Rifles remained unshipped, and applied against the remainder of this contract.

    Production of components on the .22’ caliber Rifle order progressed favorably during the quarter, and it was expected that assembly would commence in October.
    The company was advised that the No.5 Rifle(British Lightened Pattern) would not be considered for production in Canadaicon at this time. Consequently, no further action was planned for this project by the company. All tooling and ‘tool proving billets’ were placed in stores and recorded.

    Production for the third quarter on the Sniper’s Rifle was 161, with total production of this item up to 1,083. Production was progressing in a satisfactory manner, compatible with the receipt of telescopes.

    Sten Carbine production during the quarter amounted to 4,014 Carbines, with the total to date – 126,703. Cancellation instructions were received on this project September 10th, and all production ceased accordingly. The cancellation of Contract U.N.(495) left an undelivered balance of 6,797 Carbines. All completed Sten Carbines were packed in shipping crates pending disposition instructions.

    A quantity of 24,811 sets of wooden billets were produced during this quarter, bringing total production of this item to 305,19 sets. Cancellation instructions were received on this project August 18th, and all production ceased. A quantity of 5,149 sets remained to apply against the cancellation.

    On the Combination Holster Butt, production for the quarter amounted to 11,500 Holsters. Cancellation instructions were received on September 7th, and production ceased. A quantity of 1,053 completed holsters remained to apply against the cancellation.

    Contract U.N.(8977) for the Mauser firing pin and extractor components was cancelled before the company was actually in production for these items. All tool and ‘tool proving billets’ were placed in stores and recorded.

    The cancellation of all contracts, except those for the .22” Rifle and the Sniper’s Rifle, necessitated drastic reductions in staff to the extent that total employees numbered slightly over 200. This personnel was engaged in production, plant cleaning, inventories and preparing capital equipment for storage and disposal.

    During the fourth quarter of 1945, no No.4 Rifles or Sten Carbines were produced, as all contracts were cancelled in the previous quarter.

    The company went into production on the .22” Rifle during this quarter and 1,100 were produced, making a total production for this weapon up to the end of 1945 of 8,320.

    Production on the Sniper’s Rifle for the fourth quarter amounted to 58, making total production of this weapon of 1,141.
    To repeat, the total number of No.4 Rifles produced to the end of 1945 was 905,731, and the total number of Sten Carbines – 126,703

    As of December 31st, 1945, the following was the status of uncompleted contracts: Sniper’s Rifle – 376; .22”caliber Rifle – 9,338 with 2 months maintenance spares for 10,50; and on that date all operations were transferred from the company to Canadian Arsenals Limited, Small Arms Division, who continued on with uncompleted contracts.

    -The following graph shows the monthly production of the No.4 Rifle from October 1943 until December 1945.

    As the No.4 Rifle was the principal weapon produced by the company, production on this weapon gives a good indication of the trend of the company’s activities during these years. Peak production and employment was during the years 1942 and 1943. It will be noticed that all during the period of this history, volume production was on a steadily reducing scale. The company cut back on personnel and made many changes in production methods and techniques during this period, which were reflected in reduced costs. Production costs fell off more sharply than volume production, and were reflected in continued reductions in the price of the rifle.


    The inspection of the company’s products, made necessary because of the exacting requirements of service in the field, was carried out by a separate department in the company set up for that purpose. They worked closely with the production department, inspecting the tools used by the production department and the products produced by those tools.

    Tools and gauges were inspected in a special room set up for that purpose with controlled temperatures where accurate measurements were made and recorded on all tools and gauges. Gauges in use on the production lines were checked frequently for wear and were replaced if found to be worn beyond tolerances allowed. A section of the inspection department, known as Gauge Control, was responsible for the checking and replacing of all gauges.

    Inspection on the production lines was supervised by line inspectors who patrolled their particular sections and spot-checked the product to see that all parts conformed to the required specifications.

    Bench inspection was considered to be an operation and was set up in the lines so that work would pass from last machine in a group over the inspection bench, where any rejects would be removed and acceptable parts flow on to next group of machines.

    The finished product was inspected in the Assembly for any functional defects.

    During the latter part of 1944, Statistical Quality Control Methods were introduced in an effort to improve quality and lower the cost of inspection. Quality Control Methods recorded inspection checks, and over a period, a pattern would show which gave a trend of an operation so that changes could be made in the tools, in the set-up, etc., in sufficient time to prevent sub-standard work being turned out. Charts were used for each operation, and the results of the inspectors’ checks marked on the charts. Operators were able to see the quality of their work, and as a result they showed a desire to keep their work within the tolerances allowed. In order to reduce 100% inspection, ‘sampling’ methods were used. ‘Sampling” methods were specimens picked at random from the job lots to be inspected. Sample size varied with the job lot size. The ‘sampling’ method, using statistical quality control, not only increased the quality of the product and reduced very materially the number of rejected parts, but reduced also the labour required for inspection by over 60%.

    Job Instruction

    As was inevitable, the demand for labour by Wartime Industry was such that skilled help was spread so thin it appeared to be almost non-existent. The company, as a result, had to build up a staff who would not only have the necessary knowledge to carry out their work, but would be able to instruct their operators on how to perform their work properly. This task was accomplished by job instruction classes running almost continuously. In these classes, foreman, supervisors, set-up men and leading hands were taught the correct method of job instruction. Points particularly stressed on the proper method of instruction were the preparation, the presentation, the performance try-out, and the follow-up. The classes proved invaluable, and as a result the learning time of the employee was reduced to a minimum.

    Time Standards

    In order to raise employee productivity to the highest level required to meet our commitments, it became apparent that it would be necessary to institute a programme of methods improvement, simplification, standardization, and wage incentive based on time and motion study. Such a programme was begun about the middle 0f 1942. This programme was based on the best-proven scientific and engineering principals available. It was a most difficult task to adjust conditions, routines, procedures and techniques to the point where the company’s new and inexperienced labour force could be considered operating at a ‘normal’ level.

    As soon as improvement began to show in work methods and employee performance, the production bonus scheme was brought into effect. The production bonus scheme was conceived with the idea of creating the utmost urge to produce among employees, and yet keep earnings, production costs and quality under control.

    The plan required painstaking application, together with rigid administration. The plan was essentially a 100% efficiency plan, with employees receiving benefits of all time saved above standard performance. The plan was originally intended to pay approximately 35% premium as an average (medium), although in the last year of the company’s operations – through the acquisition of superior skills by experienced employees, the premium was approximately 45% on an average. Along with this significant and very desirable increase in employee earnings, detailed and overall costs of operation decreased steadily, while the quality of the product and general factory performance improved greatly. The incentive plan increased productivity per worker about 50% with, as a result, a corresponding decrease in the working force and in costs.

    Process Engineering

    The process-engineering department of the company planned the operation process, allocated equipment to new projects in such a manner as not to hamper current projects, investigated suggestions received through the medium of the company Suggestion Award Plan, and controlled the use of lubricants and cutting fluids. The department, assisted by efficiencies introduced through the incentive bonus plan, consolidated the machinery used on the Rifle programme in such a manner as to permit production to be maintained and a considerable amount of equipment released for other war work.

    Resistance welding processes were introduced which brought about a very considerable saving of labour on both the Sten Carbine and the Rifle.

    Pressure staining of the Rifle furniture, and the introduction of the wet tumbling process to eliminate hand burring operations, all added to the quality of the product and at the same time reduced the cost.

    Heat Treating

    The purpose of this department was to provide facilities for the heat treatment and final rust proofing operations of the various components manufacture by the company. The heat-treating, or metallurgical department, as set up, was one of the best equipped and most modern of it’s kind. A considerable amount of processing research was carried out by this department. Possibly the most important development was the adaption of a high frequency induction unit to locally harden a part of the rifle body, which resulted in increasing production on this vital part by more than a 100 per cent, and entirely eliminating scrap caused by overheating. By adapting the same unit to silver soldering, certain components could be manufactured in sections and brazed together, and in this way greatly increasing the production on those parts.

    Experimental work was carried on continuously in the laboratory connected with the heat-treating department, and many benefits accrued to the company.

    The Development of Special Weapons

    The fast changing requirements of modern warfare brought about a request for improved specialized Small Arms weapons. Among such weapons was the No.4Mk.I* (T) Sniper Rifle. A considerably higher standard of performance was required from this rifle then from the ordinary No.4Mk.I* Rifle. By developing closer manufacturing tolerances and by special selection, the company was able to produce rifles that met with Sniper specifications. Special mounting equipments for telescopes were developed and adopted as standard Canadian Sniper equipment.

    To assist in the job of training new recruits to become soldiers, the company’s engineering staff developed the Long Branch Training rifle, an effective target practice rifle that resembles the service rifles, but is less expensive to manufacture. The purpose of the Training Rifle was to reduce training time, and also the cost of training, by covering a number of steps in the training programme before the final stage of actual experience on the firing range. The shooter’s aim is registered by needles that dart from the muzzle and pierce the paper target held on a stand directly in front of the rifle. Such steps as the correct method of holding the rifle, the correct pressure, trigger pull, were all covered effectively without the expenditures of ammunition and numerous trips to the ranges.

    To complete the necessary equipment for an efficient training programme, the No.4 Rifle was converted to what became known as the Canadian Pattern No.7 .22 calibre Long Branch Rifle. This development enabled actual target shooting without the expenditure of .303 ammunition, and made possible indoor training.

    The war in the East called for still further requirements in specialized weapons. The dense tropical conditions made necessary lighter and more compact equipment for jungle warfare. Prototype models were developed on .303. Light rifles which weighed only 6 ¾ Lbs., and were found to be as serviceable as similar United Kingdom weapons.

    During the years 1944 and 1945, the company engineered and developed many prototype models of advanced types of semi-automatic rifles and machine carbines. In many cases, the information obtained from these developments was considered adaptable to service requirements, and they formed the nucleus for post-war development in Rifles and Carbines.

    (II) Concerning those matters connected with the general administration, is to be noted – Industrial Relations (personnel, Union Activities, Labour-management committee, Mutual Benefit Society, Recreation club, Community Chest, Victory Loan deductions plan, Safety Committee, Suggestion Award Plan, First Aid, Plant Paper, Cafeteria), Purchasing and Accounting.

    Industrial Relations

    Under this heading is placed all those activities which have for their end the well being of the Company’s employees.


    The personnel department of the company functioned efficiently and had to contend with many difficult problems. In all, the department hired and released over 14,000 persons. Members of the personnel staff went as far east as the Maritimes, and as far west as the Prairie Provinces to secure employees. Dormitories were provided with recreational facilities for girls and women who came from distant points, in a nearby building erected by Wartime Housing Limited. The personnel department did many services of a personal nature for the company’s employees, all to the advantage of good relations between the Management and the employees.

    Union Activities

    The company signed a contract with Local 519 of the United Electrical Radio and Machine Workers of America. The Union represented the employees in matters of employee grievances. In general, relations were good, and the local officials of the Union were, in the main, most co-operative. The contract with the Union lapsed with the cancelation of the company’s contracts and the necessity for large scale lay-offs.

    Labour-Management Committee

    Representatives on the labour-management committee came from all departments in the plant. They were elected by their fellow employees, and were on the committee for the purpose of giving their contribution toward increasing production and improving production methods. Their principal value, however, was in bringing management and labour together on problems of common interest, and so generally improving co-operation in the plant, rather than becoming the ’spark plug’ for production planning.

    Employees’ Mutual Benefit Society

    To give the employees of the company added protection in the event of illness or accident – other than those covered by Workmen’s Compensation, the company organized an Employees’’ Mutual Benefit Society. The Society received its Charter under the provisions of the Companies Act of the Province of Ontario, on April 18th, 1944, and was dissolved as a result of the cancellation of the company’s contracts, on August 27th, 1945.

    Membership dues were 10 cents per week. The company made a contribution of 5 cents for every 10 cents contributed by it’s members. The Society was administered by a Board of Governors, a majority of whom were elected by the members. The company had an appointed minority representation on the Board. Approximately $11,000.00 was paid out in disability benefits and medical services. At the time of dissolution, the Society had some $3,200.00 in funds which were returned to its members.

    Recreation Club

    A recreation club continued to function until September of 1945, when it was disbanded. A full-time athletic director was employed by the company to assist in all types of recreational activities. The members of the recreation club were charged a small membership fee which provided funds for most of their activities. The recreation club and the services of the athletic director were helpful in providing recreational interests for the many employees of the company who came from the distant points.

    Community Chest

    A Community Chest plan to cover all charitable donations was in effect in the company. Deductions were made from the pay of those employees who were members of the Chest. Directors were elected by the member employees, and these directors dispersed the Chest’s funds through the Company Treasury to the organized charities of their choice. About 75% of the employees were members of the Chest fund. The employee who was a member of the Chest fund was not expected to give further donations to charity, and the company was saved the time-wasting procedure of canvasses in the plant.

    Victory Loan Deductions

    Payroll deductions for all Victory Loans were sponsored in the plant. The response of the employees was most gratifying. As the loans progressed, subscriptions became larger, until an average subscription of $300.00 per employee was reached. The amount of these subscriptions spoke well for the calibre of the company’s employees. It is on the record that no company with similar earnings per employee exceeded the subscriptions made by the company’s employees. In all, some $3,500,000 was subscribed by the employees of the company.

    Safety Committee

    A safety committee under the guidance of a plant safety engineer carried out experiments, suggested changes and improved methods of operating with respect to the accident hazard involved. Classes of instruction in proper safety pre-cautions were held regularly for the company’s employees. The committee saved the company many hours of production time and saved the employees from many serious and disfiguring accidents.

    Suggestion Award Plan

    A Suggestion Award plan was in effect in the company. Employees were encouraged to submit suggestions which would increase production, reduce costs, improve their working conditions, etc… The company set up an Investigating Committee consisting of two members of the engineering department who investigated the suggestion as to merit and cost saving, and then passed the suggestion on to the Suggestions Award Committee, composed of senior executives of the company who decided on the amount of the award to be paid. Maximum award for any suggestion was $350.00. A number of employees qualified for the maximum award. The company benefited materially from suggestions made by employees, and the plan had the advantage of encouraging employees to think about their work.

    First Aid

    An up-to-date, ten-bed hospital and first aid service was maintained in the plant, and was open for the full twenty-four hours each day. During the greater part of the time the company was in operation, the staff consisted of a doctor on retaining fee, ten nurses, a head nurse and a secretary.

    The company approved a blood donors’ clinic in the plant, which was operated by the first aid staff. The clinis was held every two weeks and some 00 of the company’s employees were donors. The clinic was considered one of the best in the Province, and the number of donors was in excess of the number from some of our smaller cities.

    Plant Paper

    A bi-monthly paper was published by the company. The paper served as a medium for explaining company policy to employees, and for covering items of general interest to all employees, sports and social activities. The paper was discontinued in August 1945, with the advice of contract cancellation.


    The company had an up-to-date cafeteria. During the three shift operation, the cafeteria was open twenty-four hours a day, and reduced it’s services only as the number of shifts were reduced. Tuck shops were installed in the plant to enable employees to purchase cigarettes, tobaccos’, sandwiches, tea and coffee, etc. Operation of the cafeteria and tuck shops was carried on by an outside caterer, and was considered to have been satisfactory both to employees and to the company.


    The purchasing of the company’s materials was, as in the case of most companies during the war period, a difficult task. However, the company was satisfied that it was well done. Materials were obtained at reasonable prices, and for the most part the planning of their purchase was well in advance of requirements, and few production delays were occasioned by shortages.


    Compared with the size of the company’s operations, the accounting department functioned with very few employees. The Management, Board of Directors, and company auditors considered methods of accounting up-to-date, and that costing accurately reflected the company’s business. The cost of manufacture of each weapon for any month was available to the Management the month following. All costing was done by operations. As an indication of the general efficiency of this department, reference is made to the pay office were errors and adjustment after payday were negligible.

    (III) Concerning those matters connected with the concluding chapter of the company’s affairs.

    Fourth Quarter, 1945

    During the fourth quarter of 1945, rapid progress was made in converting the plant to peacetime operation. Colonel Jolley, President and general Manager of the company, had originated a post war arsenal scheme for Canada, which the Canadian Government accepted and made effective through the incorporation of a Crown company known as Canadian Arsenals Limited. This Crown Company operates through a number of divisions – one of which deals exclusively with small arms. It was therefore understood by the company that this Small Arms Division of Canadian Arsenals Limited would take over from the company at the end of the year. The company moved its stores, machinery and equipment required for current production to the area in the plant which was to be retained for the Arsenal operation. The remaining area, some 80% of the total, was to be made available for lease early in 1946 to private industry.

    The purpose of the Government in restricting the space required for the Arsenal, and making as much as possible of the company’s space available for lease, was to assist private enterprise to get under way with peacetime production at the earliest possible date. It was consider that if industrial space could be made available for private industry, employees of the company living in the locality of the plant would find opportunity for employment, and so reduce the amount of unemployment inevitable during the transition period.

    The area made available to private industry was filled with machinery and other plant equipment necessary to the production of the items whose manufacture had recently stopped. The company immediately set to work to clear these sections of the plant. Machinery was tagged as essential to the future Arsenal, or not essential to the future Arsenal, and all non-essential machinery was immediately declared surplus to the War Assets Corporation Limited. All work-in-process and stores which would be of no value to the Arsenal was also declared to War Assets Corporation Limited. Some machines were shipped to War Assets Corporation Limited warehouses; other machines which War Assets Corporation Limited was able to sell immediately were shipped direct to the purchasers. Machines essential to the Arsenal were moved to the Arsenal area for storage. The area for lease was laid out by the company in parcels suitable for renting to industry. Practically the whole of the area available for lease was rented by the end of the year. The company commenced partitioning off the parcels as soon as they were rented, and a good number were completed by the end of December, so that several of the tenant companies were able to take occupancy immediately in the New Year.

    The company moved its own offices during the month of December to the nearby Inspection Board Building, and made the company office building available for lease.
    The conversion to peacetime operation of the company’s plant was completed in a satisfactory manner, at a time when many of the company’s senior employees were accepting positions elsewhere.

    Final Period, 1946

    As of December the 31st 1945, the operations of the company were taken over by the Small Arms Division of Canadian Arsenals Limited. However, there remained a considerable amount of accounting work to be done, before all the affairs of the company could be wound up and application made for the surrender of the company’s Charter.

    A small accounting staff was therefore retained until March 31st 1946. During this period, all outstanding accounts were paid. The T. forms for Income Tax purposes were made up for all employees of the company for the year of 1945. Inventories and cancellation claims were finalized. On April 11th 1946, the final meeting of the board of Directors was held at Long Branch. At this meeting approval was given to the final balance sheet of the company, which carried the statement that as of March 31st 1946, all the assets and liabilities of the company were transferred to the Department of Reconstruction and Supply.

    Present at this meeting were Mr.G.S.Braden – Chairman of the Board, Col.M.P.Jolley – President and General Manager, Mr.N.P.Petersen – Vice-President, Messrs.P.B.Bourget and J.T.Simpson – Directors, and Mr.R.Flavelle – Secretary-Treasurer.


    Author - Mr. T.H.Marshall, Small Arms Limited, 1946.
    Warning: This is a relatively older thread
    This discussion is older than 360 days. Some information contained in it may no longer be current.
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    Last edited by Badger; 01-10-2022 at 06:58 AM.

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    Very intriguing reference in first quarter 1945 to cancellation of the order for Mauser firing pins and extractors. I wonder what sort of Mauser pins and extractors they would have been making, and for whom? Spare parts for dropping into Germanicon occupied areas for use by Resistance groups? For shipment to Russiaicon to repair captured German ordnance??????????


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    Quote Originally Posted by boltaction View Post
    Very intriguing reference in first quarter 1945 to cancellation of the order for Mauser firing pins and extractors. I wonder what sort of Mauser pins and extractors they would have been making, and for whom? Spare parts for dropping into Germanicon occupied areas for use by Resistance groups? For shipment to Russiaicon to repair captured German ordnance??????????

    Perhaps for Brazilicon or Portugal who used Mausers?
    “There are invisible rulers who control the destinies of millions. It is not generally realized to what extent the words and actions of our most influential public men are dictated by shrewd persons operating behind the scenes.”

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    Much changes, much remains the same.

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    Quote Originally Posted by boltaction View Post
    Very intriguing reference in first quarter 1945 to cancellation of the order for Mauser firing pins and extractors. I wonder what sort of Mauser pins and extractors they would have been making, and for whom? Spare parts for dropping into Germanicon occupied areas for use by Resistance groups? For shipment to Russiaicon to repair captured German ordnance??????????

    The date suggests weapons being readied to arm liberated countries, or to repair stocks of captured weapons. If the former, it might even refer to P14 or M1917 rifles; if the latter, then maybe K98s from North Africa and Italyicon (about that number captured by then). Seems a very high number of firing pins and extractors - unless another factory was making matching bolt bodies. In that case maybe it was capture weapons that had been disabled by throwing away the bolts. Intriguing....

    Maybe the parts - before they were cancelled - were for this lot:

    Last edited by Thunderbox; 02-06-2012 at 02:09 PM.

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    During the third quarter of 1945....The company was advised that the No.5 Rifle(Britishicon Lightened Pattern) would not be considered for production in Canadaicon at this time. Consequently, no further action was planned for this project by the company. All tooling and ‘tool proving billets’ were placed in stores and recorded.
    So obviously a fair bit of preparation had been made to make the No5 (for the final campaign against Japanicon presumably). This would fit with the photos we have seen of a few Long Branch-made No5s.
    “There are invisible rulers who control the destinies of millions. It is not generally realized to what extent the words and actions of our most influential public men are dictated by shrewd persons operating behind the scenes.”

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