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Prime Minister R.B. Bennett

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R.B. Bennett, Prime Minister of Canada

R.B. Bennett, Prime Minister of Canada

Library and Archives Canada / C-000687

About R.B. Bennett:

R.B. Bennett was a millionaire businessman who was Prime Minister of Canada throughout the Great Depression and his Conservative policies did little to help the hardships faced by Canadians. R.B. Bennett had a large ego and was said to run a one-man government.

Prime Minister of Canada:

1930-35

Highlights as Prime Minister:

The following measures were put in place while R.B. Bennett was Prime Minister of Canada

  • the Relief Act 1926
  • creation of the Canadian Radio Broadcasting Commission 1932
  • creation of the Bank of Canada 1935
  • creation of the Canadian Wheat Board 1935

Birth and Death:

  • Born July 3, 1870 in Hopewell Hill, New Brunswick
  • Died June 26, 1947 in Mickleham, Surrey, England

Education:

  • New Brunswick Provincial Normal School, Fredericton, New Brunswick
  • LL.B - Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia

Professional Background of R.B. Bennett:

R.B. Bennett was a teacher, a lawyer and the President of Calgary Power Company.

Political Affiliation:

Provincial Ridings (Electoral Districts):

  • West Calgary - Legislative Assembly of the NWT 1898-1900, 1901-05
  • Calgary - Legislative Assembly of Alberta 1909-11

Federal Ridings (Electoral Districts):

  • Calgary 1911-17
  • Calgary West 1925-39

Political Career of R.B. Bennett:

  • R.B. Bennett was elected to the Legislative Assembly of the NWT in 1898.

  • He was elected to the Legislative Assembly of Alberta in 1909.

  • He was first elected to the House of Commons in 1911.

  • Disappointed at not having been appointed to cabinet, R.B. Bennett did not run in the 1917 general election.

  • Arthur Meighen persuaded R.B. Bennett to be Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada in 1921. The post did not last long as R.B. Bennett was defeated in the 1921 election.

  • R.B. Bennett was again elected to the House of Commons in the 1925 general election.

  • He served as Minister of Finance and Receiver General of Canada for 2 months in 1926 in the short-lived government of Arthur Meighen.

  • R.B. Bennett was elected Leader of the Conservative Party in 1927, and was Leader of the Opposition from 1927 to 1930.

  • R.B. Bennett was sworn in as Prime Minister of Canada in 1930.

  • Bennett also kept the portfolios of Minister of Finance and Receiver General of Canada from 1930 to 1932, and Secretary of State for External Affairs from 1930 to 1935.

  • The Conservative government was defeated in the general election of 1935. Mackenzie King became Prime Minister.

  • R.B. Bennett stayed as Leader of the Opposition until 1938, when he resigned and emigrated to England.

  • He was appointed to the U.K. House of Lords as Viscount Bennett of Mickleham, Calgary, and Hopewell in 1941.

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