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Like other Canadian banks, The Canadian Bank of Commerce was faced with shortages during the war and had to ration supplies. The branches were cautioned to use paper products, such as forms and pads, judiciously so as not to waste any paper. A Winnipeg branch was singled out for reducing its consumption of pen nibs to 75% below the bank's national average, by soaking them in soapy water overnight and then re-using them. Typewriter ribbons, along with the typewriters themselves and other office equipment, were in short supply as the armed forces and federal government had priority on these kinds of manufactured goods.
Gasoline shortages were common during the war so special rules were established for bank managers who needed to drive for bank business. Application forms, which included the estimated mileage and precise reason for the trip, had to be filled out for each journey. Priority was given to managers who were contacting delinquent debtors and those who had to visit sub-branches.
For years, each branch had their own revolvers to protect the bank from robberies. The Stationery Department regularly supplied the branches with ammunition for staff target practice, but by 1942 the bank's ammunition supply was depleted. In 1943, the federal government took steps to acquire used revolvers of .38 calibre or heavier. Branches were instructed to send any such firearms to the Stationery Department, and lighter calibre revolvers would be sent back to the branches to replace those needed overseas.
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