All combatant countries in the Second World War came to realise just how expensive modern warfare can be. In New Zealand taxes tripled between 1940 and 1945 so the necessary capital could be raised, with the government taxing to the economic limit.
For those with surplus funds, "National Savings Bonds" were introduced. These were loans made to the government for war purposes to be paid back (with some interest) when peace returned. By 1946, over forty million pounds had been invested in the scheme. ‘Lend to defend the right to be free!’ was the overarching motto of National Savings and was put on posters, cinema slides and savings books.
With 30 million tickets sold in 1939, New Zealand's cinemas was the perfect place to attract attention!
The mention of the serviceperson's sacrifice as a compelling reason to offer savings harks back to a theme in the First World War. In New Zealand some labour unions urged the government to raise taxes on the wealthy, arguing that if people's lives were being conscripted, so should capital. This was not directly taken up (but was effected indirectly through taxes on luxury items) and the idea was repeated on this slide.