R.B. Bennett fonds [textual record (chiefly microform)]
Record Information – Brief1
R.B. Bennett fonds [textual record (chiefly microform)]
- Hierarchical level:
- R11336-0-7-E, MG26-K
- Type of material:
- Textual material
- Found in:
- Archives / Collections and Fonds
- Item ID number:
- Context of this record:
Record Information – Details
- Fonds includes:
5 lower level description(s)View lower level description(s)
- Bilingual equivalent:
- Click here
- Place of creation:
- No place, unknown, or undetermined
1 cm of textual records.
597 microfilm reels negative and positive.
- Language of material:
- Scope and content:
Fonds consists of the political and personal papers of R.B. Bennett, with the majority of records pertaining to his time as Prime Minister. Bennett's ministry was dominated by the Depression. Among the matters with which the government was concerned were: tariff revision, trade, finance, unemployment relief and farm relief. Other prominent subjects include banking, civil service, the Imperial Conference in 1930, the Imperial Economic Conference of 1932, the workings of the Conservative Party, requests for assistance, grain and railways.
Fonds consists of political series, 1878-1947, microfilm, 435 reels; personal series, 1877-1960, microfilm, 47 reels; invitations series, 1927-1946, microfilm, 10 reels; clippings series, 1870-1949, microfilm, 105 reels; additional accessions, 1939-1942, 1946, originals, 0.01 m. This material is located on microfilm reels M-888 to M-895, M-907 to M-999, M-1012 to M-1033, M-1035 to M-1115, M-1172 to M-1185, M-1204 to M-1229, M-1247 to M-1302, M-1305 to M-1348, M-1397 to M-1434, M-1442 to M-1490, M-1497 to M-1500, M-3140 to M-3186, M-3859 to M-3868, M-4476 to M-4580.
- Additional name(s):
- Biography/Administrative history:
Bennett, R. B. (Richard Bedford), 1870-1947 : Prime Minister of Canada (1930-35) Richard Bedford Bennett was born at Hopewell Hill, New Brunswick on 3 July 1870, and grew up on a farm. He worked as a teacher and in a law office before graduating from Dalhousie University law school. Bennett then joined a Chatham, New Brunswick law firm that employed Max Aitken (later Lord Beaverbrook) as an office boy. At Aitken's prompting, Bennett ran successfully for the town council in 1895, but moved to Calgary two years later, where he became extremely wealthy through legal work and investments. He was president of the Canadian Bar Association (1929-30). In 1898, Bennett was elected to the Legislative Assembly of the North-West Territories for the riding of West Calgary, and re-elected in 1902. He led the Conservative party of Alberta from 1905 and was elected to the provincial legislature in 1909. Two years later, Bennett was elected to the House of Commons for the riding of Calgary. Prime Minister Sir Robert Borden appointed him director general of the National Service Board in 1916. The following year, he supported the Military Service Act, while opposing Borden's union government, and did not stand for re-election. Prime Minister Arthur Meighen named Bennett minister of justice just before the 1921 federal election in which he was defeated in Calgary West. Bennett won the riding in 1925 and served as minister of finance, as well as acting minister of mines, the interior and superintendent of Indian affairs. Meighen was defeated in the following year's federal election, and Bennett became party leader in 1927. Bennett was elected prime minister in July 1930, serving also as minister of finance and external affairs. The new government attempted to overcome the Great Depression through tariffs, and hosted the 1932 Imperial Economic Conference in hopes of stimulating trade within the empire. Legislation provided unemployment and farm relief, and financed public works projects, while the government extended its ability to regulate the economy by creating the Bank of Canada in 1934 and the Canadian Wheat Board a year later. Under Bennett, Canada gained autonomy in external relations with the 1931 Statute of Westminster, while the Canadian Radio Broadcasting Commission (now the CBC) was established in 1932. In January 1935, Bennett announced a 'Canadian New Deal' of unprecedented social welfare initiatives to combat the ongoing depression. At the same time, he invoked section 98 of the Criminal Code, to arbitrarily arrest, detain and try members of the Communist Party, and ordered police to violently suppress that summer's On-to-Ottawa trek of unemployed men. Bennett was defeated in the October 1935 general election, but remained Conservative leader until 1938, when he retired to England. During the Second World War, he advised Lord Beaverbrook, who was now Britain's minister of aircraft production. In return, he was ennobled as Viscount Bennett in 1941. Bennett never married. He died in England on 26 June 1947 and was buried in St Michael's Churchyard, Mickleham. Bennett endorsed the federal government's systematically racist relationship with Indigenous Peoples, which caused tremendous ongoing trauma, displacement, disenfranchisement and exclusion. Specifically, in 1934 he appointed a lawyer with a history of racist beliefs to lead the Royal Commission of Inquiry into the Alleged Flogging of Indian Pupils, which investigated claims that students had been beaten at the Shubenacadie Residential School. Bennett accepted the inquiry's report, which praised the principal's actions. The Government of Canada has officially apologised for actions taken under Bennett's authority. The Prime Minister at the time apologised for Indian Residential Schools in 2008 and 2017.
- Finding aid:
Textual records (Electronic) The finding aids to the Bennett Papers consist of five parts. Part 1 contains file lists to the Political Series and Personal Series. Part 2 contains file lists to the Invitations Series and Clippings Series. Part 3 is a detailed computer index to the Political, Personal and Invitations Series, arranged alphabetically by keyword. Part 4 is a variation of part 3. Instead of being sorted alphabetically, the computer index is arranged by volume number. This will be of particular assistance to researchers using the file list, as it shows the significant contents as well as the titles of each file. Part 5 contains a list of additional Bennett manuscript items received by the National Archives. MSS0434 (90: Open)
http://data2.archives.ca/pdf/pdf001/p000002512.pdfTextual records (Electronic) The Bennett Index (Parts 3 and 4) is also available on line. MSS0434 (90: Open)Textual records (Microform) Parts 1-4 of finding aid 434 are available on microfilm. Parts 1 and 2 are filmed together on reel C-4495, part 3 is on reels C-10855 to C-10858 and part 4 is on reel C-10859. Researchers are urged to read carefully the introductions to each part of the finding aid to determine which part will be of most help to them. MSS0434 (90: Open)(Electronic) All or some of the documents described have been digitized and are available at the following address: (90: Open)
- Additional information:
- Custodial history:
- The Bennett Papers were given to the University of New Brunswick in 1949 by Ronald V. Bennett, brother of R.B. Bennett. The papers mainly cover Bennett's period as Prime Minister, 1930-1935, although they contain material for most of his adult life. In 1965, the University loaned the papers to the National Archives of Canada to be arranged, microfilmed and indexed. The papers were returned in 1976. In later years, the National Archives received additional accessions of original manuscript material from Dr. W. Ormsby and Evelyn Macmillan.
- Location of originals note:
- The originals are held by the University of New Brunswick.
- Container note(s):
C-4495 : Finding Aid
- Subject heading:
- Canada - Officials and employees
- Canada. Secretary of State for External Affairs
- Farmers Canada
- Agriculture - Canada, 1930-1935
- Farms - Canada, 1930-1935
- Farm relief - Canada, 1930-1935
- Finance - Canada, 1930-1935
- Grain - Canada, 1930-1935
- Tariff - Canada, 1930-1935
- Unemployment - Canada, 1930-1935
- Unemployed - Canada, 1930-1935
- Bennett family, 1872-1960
- Richard B. Bennett - Finance, personal, [1890-1947]
- Banks and banking Canada
- Canada - Foreign relations
- Depressions 1929 Canada
- Speeches, addresses, etc
- Politicians Canada
- Railroads Canada
- Prime ministers Canada
- Premiers ministres Canada
- Ambassadors Canada
- Lawyers Canada
- Former archival reference no.:
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