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Fonds consists of letters to British Labour Party leader J. Ramsay MacDonald and his wife from Canadians touching on a variety of subjects including politics in Canada and Britain, the labour movement, suffragettes and working conditions for women, and the MacDonalds' tour of Canada in 1906. Correspondents include Alphonse Verville, James Simpson, W.R. Trotter and Arthur W. Puttee of the Trades and Labour Congress of Canada, Thomas J. Griffiths of the Canadian Federation of Labour, William Lyon Mackenzie King, Goldwin Smith, Eric Bower of Hamilton, Shirley Cummings of Toronto, Ralph G. Gray Victoria and Herbert M. Price of Quebec City. The most informative letters are those of Bertha Merrill Burns of the Social Democratic Party in Vancouver, and W.J. Turner, an English immigrant who worked for the Canadian Pacific Railway in Winnipeg.
MacDonald, James Ramsay, 1866-1937 : Ramsay MacDonald, British politician, was one of the founders and most important leaders of the British Labour Party. He was first elected to the House of Commons in 1906, and in 1911 he became chairman of the parliamentary group of the party. Because of his opposition to the war, he resigned from the leadership in 1914. Defeated at the polls in 1918 and 1922, he was re-elected in 1922, and in 1924 was Prime Minister of Britain's first Labour Government. MacDonald led the Labour Party into power again in 1929. In 1931, the Party split over economic policy and MacDonald formed a coalition government with the Conservatives and Liberals which lasted until 1935.