Reconstruction is the process of readjustment to a peacetime economy following WWII. Many believed the end of the war would mean a return to the economic depression of the 1930s, with falling production and widespread unemployment. When the Mackenzie KING government established a Dept of Reconstruction in 1944, however, it turned the department over to C.D. HOWE, one of the most optimistic men in the Cabinet. Howe believed there would be a shortage of goods at war's end rather than a surplus, and he concentrated on reconversion of factories to civilian and consumer production, while stimulating the construction industry to make up for losses since the onset of the Great Depression. Howe's program was very successful; government regulations were largely abolished and Canada was returned to a free-enterprise economy.