1930s

Successes in establishing organizations, but the war came as a surprise

In 1931 general C G E Mannerheim was appointed chairman of the National Defence Council. Under his leadership the Council also managed material defence provisions and the National Defence Council of Wartime Economy had no tasks of its own. However, in the spring of 1932 the National Defence Council’s Food Supply Sub-committee finalized the study “Feeding the Finnish Population” that had been initiated by Mr Wuolle’s committee. This study set out the organization of food rationing in time of war, as well as an outline for a procurement policy, i.e. the skeleton of an economic emergency administration.

The Ministry of Defence planned to merge the tasks of the National Defence Council for Wartime Economy with those of the Ministry. This was accomplished in 1936 when the Ministry established a new Wartime Economy Department. The National Defence Council of Wartime Economy still existed, but its remaining status was only formal.

The Ministry of Emergency Supply took over the responsibilities

The Ministry started operations in the autumn of 1939 and implemented into practice practically all the plans and findings that the National Defence Council of Wartime Economy had made until the middle of the 1930s.

The organization functioned, but too late, the war came as a surprise

At the outbreak of war the Ministry’s organization was fully planned, but material preparation was inexistent. Efforts were made to acquire security stockpiles of oil, but it was already too late.