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The origins of the NPA : a study in Vancouver politics 1930-1940 Smith, Andrea Barbara 1981

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THE ORIGINS OF THE NPA: A STUDY IN VANCOUVER POLITICS 1930-1940 by ANDREA BARBARA SMITH B.A., The U n i v e r s i t y o f B r i t i s h C o l u m b i a , 1976 A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF ARTS i n THE FACULTY OF GRADUATE STUDIES D e p a r t m e n t o f H i s t o r y , U.B.C. We a c c e p t t h i s t h e s i s a s c o n f o r m i n g t o t h e r e q u i r e d s t a n d a r d THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA MARCH, 1981 A n d r e a B a r b a r a S m i t h , 1981 \ In p r e s e n t i n g t h i s t h e s i s i n p a r t i a l f u l f i l m e n t of the requirements f o r an advanced degree a t the U n i v e r s i t y o f B r i t i s h Columbia, I agree t h a t the L i b r a r y s h a l l make i t f r e e l y a v a i l a b l e f o r r e f e r e n c e and study. I f u r t h e r agree t h a t p e r m i s s i o n f o r e x t e n s i v e c o p y i n g of t h i s t h e s i s f o r s c h o l a r l y purposes may be granted by the head o f my department o r by h i s o r her r e p r e s e n t a t i v e s . I t i s < understood t h a t c o p y i n g o r p u b l i c a t i o n o f t h i s t h e s i s f o r f i n a n c i a l g a i n s h a l l not be allowed without my w r i t t e n p e r m i s s i o n . Department o f The U n i v e r s i t y of B r i t i s h Columbia 2075 Wesbrook P l a c e Vancouver, Canada V6T 1W5 Date DE-6 (2/79) ABSTRACT T h i s t h e s i s attempts t o e x p l a i n the emergence and success o f 'non-partisan' p o l i t i c s i n Vancouver i n the 19 30s. I t contends t h a t the formation of the Non-Partisan A s s o c i a t i o n i n 1937 hinged on the s t r u c t u r a l change i n m u n i c i p a l govern-ment from a ward system to an a t - l a r g e system i n 1935; and f u r t h e r , t h a t the NPA was the d e f e n s i v e r e a c t i o n of p r o v i n c i a l L i b e r a l s and C o n s e r v a t i v e s to the success of the CCF i n muni-c i p a l p o l i t i c s under the new system. T h i s author proceeds from the premise t h a t the 'non-p a r t i s a n ' nature of c i v i c p o l i t i c s i s a myth. In Chapter I the c o n s e r v a t i v e i d e o l o g i c a l foundations of the 'non-partisan' p h i l o s o p h y are r e v e a l e d i n the a l a r m i s t response of the prov-i n c e ' s p o l i t i c a l and b u s i n e s s e l i t e s t o the d e p r e s s i o n . In Chapter I I an examination of the o r i g i n s of the change i n the s t r u c t u r e of Vancouver's government d i s c l o s e s the key r o l e p l a y e d by G.G. McGeer and other p r o v i n c i a l p o l i t i c i a n s i n the c i t y ' s a f f a i r s . Chapter I I I examines the s p e c i f i c l o c a l developments t h a t prompted the NPA's formation. The s t r e n g t h o f the CCF i n the c i t y i s assessed as w e l l as the p r a c t i c a l i m p l i c a t i o n s of the new a t - l a r g e system f o r c i v i c e l e c t i o n s . Group biography confirms the p a r t i s a n c h a r a c t e r of the NPA o r g a n i z a t i o n and r e v e a l s i t s p r o v i n c i a l r o o t s . F i n a l l y , t h i s t h e s i s d i s c u s s e s the reasons f o r the NPA's long term success and the i m p l i c a t i o n s f o r the c i t y . An examination of the c i t y ' s v o t i n g p a t t e r n s i n the 1930s r e v e a l s the e f f e c t i v e n e s s o f the NPA's r h e t o r i c and i t s o r g a n i z a t i o n a l a b i l i t i e s under an a t - l a r g e system. i v TABLE OF CONTENTS Page ABSTRACT i i L I S T OF TABLES AND FIGURES . C V INTRODUCTION 1 CHAPTER I : The E a r l y D e p r e s s i o n and t h e A t t i t u d e s o f B u s i n e s s and Government 4 CHAPTER I I : P r o v i n c i a l - M u n i c i p a l R e l a t i o n s and t h e I n t r o d u c t i o n o f A t - L a r g e E l e c t i o n s . . 27 CHAPTER I I I : The C i v i c CCF and t h e F o r m a t i o n and S u c c e s s o f t h e N o n - P a r t i s a n A s s o c i a t i o n 54 CONCLUSION 83 BIBLIOGRAPHY 8 8 V L I S T OF TABLES AND FIGURES Page TABLES 1 V a n c o u v e r M a y o r a l t y E l e c t i o n 1938 71 2 A v e r a g e P e r c e n t a g e V o t e r T u r n o u t 1936-1940 . . 75 FIGURES 1 Pre-1936 V a n c o u v e r Ward Map, 1928-1936 . . . . 42 2 S u r p l u s 1 A l d e r m a n i c C r o p ' R e d u c i n g P l a n ? . . . 45 3 ' N o n - P a r t i s a n ' Group Seen As O l d L i n e P a r t y C o m b i n a t i o n 62 4 C i v i c E l e c t i o n C a r t o o n 63 5 Pre-1936 Ward Map: NPA A l d e r m a n i c S u p p o r t 1937 E l e c t i o n 66 6 C o r n e t t G a i n s Sv/eeping V i c t o r y ; T e l f o r d t o R e s i g n P o s t a t Once 73 V INTRODUCTION At a meeting held November 3, 1937 at 4:30 i n the o f f i c e of J . MacPherson the following were present, Mr. J . MacPherson, Mr. Brenton S. Brown, Mr. S.S. McKeen, Mr. E.W. Rhodes, General Odium, Mr. Rowe Holland, Mr. Drew Pratt, Mr. W. Lloyd Craig. Mr. W. Lloyd Craig was appointed secretary of the meeting. After considerable discussion the group present formed themselves into an association and on the motion of General Odium seconded by S.S. McKeen the organization took on the name of "The Vancouver Non-Partisan Association." (1) These few sentences are the only available minutes of 2 the f i r s t meeting of the NPA. Certainly, i t would appear that t h i s group of men had reached a concensus regarding the necessity and nature of the organization before they met. Yet, according to a l a t e r statement made by F. Drew Pratt, a found-ing member, there had been l i t t l e preparation except for an 3 exchange of phone c a l l s between the men present. Nine busy days l a t e r , on November 12, 1937, at a luncheon meeting i n the I t a l i a n Room of the Hotel Vancouver, the group made i t s inten-tions known to the c i t i z e n r y of Vancouver. The association, on the motion of Pratt, adopted i t s o f f i c i a l platform: To develop a proper sense of c i v i c consciousness and a due sense of c i v i c pride on the part of the electors to the end that worthy men and women s h a l l be elected to the o f f i c e s of mayor, aldermen, school board trustees and park commissioners and to oppose the introduction of party p o l i t i c s into Vancouver's c i t y administration. (4) This thesis i s concerned with the forces behind the r i s e of non-partisan philosophy i n Vancouver, as embodied i n the l o c a l p o l i t i c a l group, the Non-Partisan Association. The 1 2 NPA has been t h e m a j o r p o l i t i c a l f o r c e i n t h e m u n i c i p a l h i s -t o r y o f t h e c i t y . I t s c a n d i d a t e s d o m i n a t e d . c i v i c b o a r d s c o n t i n u o u s l y f rom 1937 t o 1972, and t h e y r e t u r n e d t o power i n 1978. I n o r d e r t o u n d e r s t a n d t h e s u c c e s s o f t h e NPA and t h e p h i l o s o p h y o f t h e o r g a n i z a t i o n o v e r t h e y e a r s , one must u n d e r s t a n d t h e c i r c u m s t a n c e s i n w h i c h t h e NPA was formed and t h e way i n w h i c h t h e g r o u p g a i n e d i t s p o w e r . C o n s e q u e n t l y , t h e f o l l o w i n g c h a p t e r s examine t h e o r i g i n s , g r o w t h and s i g n i -f i c a n c e o f t h e NPA d u r i n g i t s f o r m a t i v e y e a r s . 3 NOTES INTRODUCTION "Non-Partisan Association 1937," November 3, 1937, Add. MSS. 54, v o l . 13, F i l e Associations # 53, C i t y Archives, Vancouver, B.C. 2 The NPA i s not w i l l i n g to allow the public access to i t s minutes. 3 John Taylor, "How the NPA was Started and Why," Vancouver Sun, Vancouver, June 6, 1967. 4 "Non-Partisan Association 1937," November 12, 1937, Add. MSS. 54, v o l . 13, F i l e Associations #53, C i t y Archives, Vancouver, B.C. CHAPTER I THE EARLY DEPRESSION AND THE ATTITUDES OF BUSINESS The Wall S t r e e t c o l l a p s e , i n the autumn of 1929, l a i d bare the extreme v u l n e r a b i l i t y of B r i t i s h Columbia's export economy based on a few s t a p l e p r o d u c t s . Nowhere was t h i s more o b v i o u s l y r e f l e c t e d than i n the c i t y of Vancouver, a c i t y which housed over o n e - t h i r d of the p r o v i n c e ' s p o p u l a t i o n . W i t h i n months, timber, m i n e r a l , and f i s h p r o d u c t i o n d r a s t i c a l l y d e c l i n e d and the c o n s t r u c t i o n i n d u s t r y v i r t u a l l y ground to a h a l t . A c t i v i t y a t the harbour slowed c o n s i d e r a b l y as exports of g r a i n f e l l o f f and incoming shipments from the p r a i r i e s decreased substantially."'" The numbers of unemployed i n c r e a s e d d a i l y as d i d the l e n g t h of the l i n e o u t s i d e of the C i t y R e l i e f O f f i c e . On December 18, 1929, the unemployed h e l d t h e i r f i r s t demonstration i n downtown Vancouver. Unemployment i n B r i t i s h Columbia was c o n c e n t r a t e d i n Vancouver. As i n d u s t r i e s shut down and men were no l o n g e r needed i n the mining and lumber camps, the number of j o b l e s s i n the c i t y expanded r a p i d l y . A m i l d w i n t e r c l i m a t e and the p o s s i b i l i t y o f seasonal employment made Vancouver an a t t r a c -t i v e d e s t i n a t i o n f o r many of the country's unemployed. By the end of December 1931, 7,818 persons were on Vancouver r e l i e f r o l e s , a s u b s t a n t i a l number when one c o n s i d e r s t h a t 2 the t h i r t i e s opened with a r e l i e f l i s t of 867 men. 4 5 Although the numbers of unemployed were not as h i g h i n Vancouver as i n other major Canadian c i t i e s , t h e i r tendency to c o n c e n t r a t e i n one area of the c i t y gave the group an ex-tremely h i g h p r o f i l e . Vancouver's r e l i e f p o p u l a t i o n grouped to g e t h e r and formed a v i s i b l y d i s t i n c t c l a s s from the employed of the c i t y . C o n c e n t r a t i o n made them s u s c e p t i b l e to o r g a n i z a -t i o n t h a t was most o f t e n i n i t i a t e d and d i r e c t e d by sympathetic l e f t - w i n g l e a d e r s . As the t h i r t i e s p rogressed the p o l i t i c a l p o t e n t i a l of the o r g a n i z e d unemployed became a major concern of l o c a l p o l i t i c i a n s and businessmen. However, at the o u t s e t of the d e p r e s s i o n , the f i r s t concern of the c i t y ' s e l i t e s was 3 how to a d m i n i s t e r r e l i e f . Vancouver c i t y c o u n c i l had l i t t l e c h o i c e but to accept the immediate burden. M u n i c i p a l r e s p o n s i b i l i t y f o r w e l f a r e was a deeply i n g r a i n e d Canadian b e l i e f and Vancouver was no 4 e x c e p t i o n . However, u n l i k e e a s t e r n Canadian c i t i e s , Vancouver had acknowledged p u b l i c r e s p o n s i b i l i t y f o r the un-employed d u r i n g the pre-World War One d e p r e s s i o n . Moreover, the c i t y ' s experience i n the mid-twenties r e c e s s i o n had demonstrated t h a t m u n i c i p a l i t i e s alone were not f i n a n c i a l l y a b l e to bear the burden of r e l i e f . In 1930 c i v i c r e l i e f o f f i c e r s demanded the renewal of the f e d e r a l g r a n t s - i n - a i d 5 p o l i c y i n o r d e r to expand the e x i s t i n g r e l i e f apparatus. The search f o r revenue f o r r e l i e f would overshadow a l l other c i t y c o u n c i l a c t i v i t i e s d u r i n g the decade. Canada g e n e r a l l y was not prepared f o r the w e l f a r e 6 p r o b l e m s t h a t e m e r g e d i n t h e 1 9 3 0 s . O f c o u r s e , t h e r e h a d b e e n u n e m p l o y m e n t b e f o r e t h i s p e r i o d , b u t n o l e g i s l a t i o n o r p r o -g r a m s e x i s t e d t o c o p e w i t h a p r o b l e m o f t h i s m a g n i t u d e . T h e s t r u c t u r e o f C a n a d i a n f e d e r a l i s m e x a c e r b a t e d t h e s i t u a t i o n . A t t e m p t s t o d e a l e f f e c t i v e l y w i t h u n e m p l o y m e n t w e r e t h w a r t e d b y t h e e n t r e n c h e d d i v i s i o n o f p o w e r s a n d r e s p o n s i b i l i t i e s d e -v i s e d a t c o n f e d e r a t i o n . C o n s t i t u t i o n a l r e s p o n s i b i l i t y r e s t e d w i t h t h e p r o v i n c e a n d i t s m u n i c i p a l i t i e s w h i c h d i d n o t p o s s e s s t h e n e c e s s a r y r e v e n u e p o w e r s t o i n s t i t u t e c o m p r e h e n s i v e r e l i e f s c h e m e s . T h e D o m i n i o n , o n t h e o t h e r h a n d , h a d t h e r e v e n u e b u t n o t t h e a u t h o r i t y t o i n i t i a t e o r a d m i n i s t e r r e l i e f p r o g r a m s . T h e s o l u t i o n , i f i t c a n b e c a l l e d a s o l u t i o n , t o o k t h e f o r m o f g r a n t s - i n - a i d , w h e r e b y t h e D o m i n i o n a l l o c a t e d f u n d s t o t h e p r o v i n c e s ; b u t t h e r e w a s n o e f f o r t t o c o - o r d i n a t e r e l i e f o p e r a t i o n s o n a n a t i o n - w i d e b a s i s a n d n o s t a t e d p o l i c y a c c o m p a n y i n g t h e g r a n t s . T h e f e d e r a l g o v e r n m e n t h e l d t h a t t h e p r o v i n c e w i t h i t s m u n i c i p a l i t i e s w a s c o n s t i t u t i o n a l l y r e s p o n -s i b l e f o r t h e u n e m p l o y e d a n d t h e r e f o r e s h o u l d c a r r y t h e b u r d e n o f r e l i e f . T h e p r o v i n c e , i n t u r n , p u s h e d t h e f i n a n c i a l b u r d e n a s f a r a s p o s s i b l e o n t o t h e s h o u l d e r s o f t h e m u n i c i p a l i t i e s . A s a r e s u l t , b o t h p r o v i n c e s a n d m u n i c i p a l i t i e s l i v e d o n t h e " e d g e o f f i n a n c i a l s o l v e n c y " t h r o u g h o u t t h e d e p r e s s i o n , a n d 7 " s o m e w e r e p u s h e d o v e r a n d b e c a m e b a n k r u p t . " V a n c o u v e r , l i k e m o s t o t h e r C a n a d i a n c i t i e s , w a s f o r c e d i n t o t h i s u n w e l c o m e p r e d i c a m e n t . I n t h e l a t e 1 9 2 0 s t h e B . C . b u s i n e s s c o m m u n i t y h a d r e c o g n i z e d t h e p r e c a r i o u s n a t u r e o f i t s p r o s p e r i t y . M a n y 7 businessmen saw the v u l n e r a b i l i t y of a resource-based economy dependent on foreign markets. Their anxiety was r e f l e c t e d i n the protective and conservative practises of l o c a l business g e l i t e s , practises supported by the p r o v i n c i a l Conservative government under the leadership of Simon Fraser Tolmie. The Conservatives had come to power i n 1928 as a businessman's government, strongly supported by the Vancouver business com-munity. Tolmie pledged his administration to a 'business government' philosophy and f i l l e d his cabinet with successful businessmen. A balanced budget that did not increase taxes or debt was necessary to ensure B r i t i s h Columbia's " i n t e r -national competitive position." Any expenditure on non-revenue producing undertakings was regarded as waste. In the early t h i r t i e s , business and government openly worked hand-in-hand 9 for the benefit of business. Their close re l a t i o n s h i p was reinforced by the i n -creased autonomy of the west coast business community and the p r o v i n c i a l government. The opening of the Panama Canal made B.C.'s economy i n the 1920s less dependent on Canadian develop-ment and national p o l i c i e s , and confirmed the existence of a " d i s t i n c t , self-conscious" group of businessmen i n the p r o v i n c e . 1 0 The increased powers of p r o v i n c i a l governments i n the twenties gave the province a more i n f l u e n t i a l role i n the d a i l y l i v e s of i t s c i t i z e n s i n the areas of welfare, edu-cation, and t r a n s p o r t a t i o n . 1 1 As a r e s u l t , both big business and government had an increased sense of t h e i r independence and considered t h e i r "economic destiny" to be r e l a t i v e l y 8 independent of the other p r o v i n c e s . However, as dependency on the Dominion d e c l i n e d and a n x i e t y about the f u t u r e i n t e n s i -f i e d , the two looked even more t o one another f o r c o - o p e r a t i o n and support. Cautious business and government o f f i c i a l s agreed t h a t the needs of i n d u s t r y should come be f o r e any other government a c t i v i t y i n the p r o v i n c e , e s p e c i a l l y w i t h the un-12 c e r t a i n t y o f world markets. The same a t t i t u d e s h e l d t r u e a t the c i v i c l e v e l of government. C i v i c aldermen, l i k e t h e i r p r o v i n c i a l c o u n t e r p a r t s , were pledged to t h r i f t and balanced budgets and were outspoken-l y a g a i n s t any programs t h a t might undermine i n d i v i d u a l i n i t i a t i v e or the c a p i t a l i s t system. T h i s "business m e n t a l i t y " had c h a r a c t e r i z e d Vancouver's c i v i c government f o r years and n a t u r a l l y i n f l u e n c e d c o u n c i l ' s response to d e p r e s s i o n prob-13 lems. Borrowing was j u s t i f i e d o n l y i f i t encouraged " l e g i t i m a t e " development, a category t h a t a p p a r e n t l y d i d not i n c l u d e r e l i e f . In 1930, the m u n i c i p a l f i n a n c e department warned c i t y c o u n c i l s e v e r a l times t h a t the continued "over-expenditure of the R e l i e f Department" would cause a d e f i c i t 14 at the end of the year. The c o u n c i l ' s s o l u t i o n i n c l u d e d the appointment o f a group of c h a r t e r e d accountants to i n v e s t i g a t e and r e p o r t on the R e l i e f Department. As a r e s u l t of the i n -v e s t i g a t i o n , two men were prosecuted f o r f r a u d r e l a t e d o f f e n c e s i n the C r i m i n a l Courts and an attempted r e v i s i o n 15 began immediately. C o n t r o l systems were implemented to account f o r a l l meal and bed vouchers and payment to s u p p l i e r s 16 was made only a f t e r a u d i t . T h i s concern f o r t i g h t e r , more 9 centralized control was expressed again i n 1932 when Mayor Louis D. Taylor c a l l e d for reconsideration of the Accountant's 17 Report and xn 1935 when the Chairman of the Relief Department 18 demanded a sim i l a r investigation. The grim p o s s i b i l i t y of a d e f i c i t or f i n a n c i a l insolvency obsessed the cautious, business-minded co u n c i l l o r s from the outset. Scandal i n 1930 and a preoccupation with e f f i c i e n c y only p a r t i a l l y explain the council's constant suspicion of the abuse of r e l i e f funds from within and without the department. This suspicion was also a r e f l e c t i o n of the council's b e l i e f that d i r e c t r e l i e f tended to undermine i n d i v i d u a l i n i t i a t i v e . By July 1930 the c i t y ' s revenues were nearly exhausted. Council decided that cash grants as a method of r e l i e f were no longer possible. R e l i e f O f f i c e r H.W. Cooper r a t i o n a l i z e d the decision for the aldermen: . . . cash grants appeal e s p e c i a l l y to the man who i s not over [sic] persistent i n seeking work and so d i s -c r e d i t i s thrown on the industrious c i t i z e n . (19) Aldermen viewed work as esse n t i a l for a man's good character and self-respect, as well as for the i n t e g r i t y of business government. Not only did they view giving "something for nothing" as i n t r i n s i c a l l y wrong, but they also believed that d i r e c t r e l i e f threatened land ownership i n the c i t y . In 1931 the Mayors and Reeves of the c i t i e s and municipalities of the Lower Mainland resolved that they were: . . . unalterably opposed to any action which would be considered as the inaugauration [sic] of an u n s c i e n t i f i c dole scheme . . . . the carrying out of which would only lead to the confiscation of the property of c i t i z e n s . (20) 10 T h e s e men b e l i e v e d t h a t r e l i e f s c h e m e s , f o r c e d o n c i v i c g o v e r n m e n t s b y u n f a i r p r o v i n c i a l a n d f e d e r a l p o l i c i e s , l e f t t h e m n o c h o i c e b u t t o i n c r e a s e p r o p e r t y t a x e s . A s a r e s u l t , many g o o d c i t i z e n s who c o u l d n o t a f f o r d t o p a y t h e i r t a x e s w o u l d h a v e t h e i r l a n d s c o n f i s c a t e d a n d p u t u p f o r t a x s a l e . C o n s e q u e n t l y , . c i v i c a u t h o r i t i e s b l a m e d d i r e c t r e l i e f — n o t t h e p r o b l e m s o f c a p i t a l i s t p r o d u c t i o n — f o r t h e i m p e n d i n g d e m i s e o f p r i v a t e o w n e r s h i p o f l a n d . I n many m i n d s , r e l i e f was a c a u s e o f e c o n o m i c p r o b l e m s , n o t a s y m p t o m . I t f o s t e r e d i d l e -n e s s , u n d e r m i n e d p e r s o n a l i n i t i a t i v e , a n d u l t i m a t e l y t h r e a t -e n e d t h e c a p i t a l i s t s y s t e m . E f f o r t s made b y c i t y c o u n c i l t o a l l e v i a t e u n e m p l o y m e n t d u r i n g t h e f i r s t y e a r s o f t h e d e p r e s s i o n f u r t h e r r e v e a l t h e c o n s e r v a t i v e a t t i t u d e o f i t s m e m b e r s . M o s t a l d e r m e n t h o u g h t t h e d e p r e s s i o n , a n d t h e r e f o r e u n e m p l o y m e n t , was a t e m p o r a r y 21 s t a t e o f a f f a i r s t h a t w o u l d e v e n t u a l l y c u r e i t s e l f . M o r e -o v e r , c o u n c i l a l w a y s e x p e c t e d t h e " u s u a l s e a s o n a l i n f l u x " o f u n e m p l o y e d f r o m N o v e m b e r t o M a r c h a n d c o n t i n u e d t o c r e a t e r e l i e f w o r k p r o j e c t s t h a t e n d e d i n t h e s p r i n g . F i n a l l y , f a c e d w i t h a " J a n u a r y s i t u a t i o n i n J u l y " c o u n c i l r e c o g n i z e d t h e i m m e n s i t y o f t h e p r o b l e m b u t c o n t i n u e d t o i m p l e m e n t s t o p -22 g a p m e a s u r e s . T h e M a y o r a n d a l d e r m e n b l a m e d t h e p r o v i n c i a l a n d f e d e r a l g o v e r n m e n t s f o r n o t s h o u l d e r i n g t h e i r f a i r s h a r e o f t h e r e l i e f b u r d e n . P r o g r a m s l i k e t h e r e d u c t i o n o f w a g e s a n d r e l i e f w o r k h o u r s , t h e r e m o v a l o f m a r r i e d women a n d O r i e n t a l s f r o m t h e l a b o u r m a r k e t , a n d a n " E m p l o y V a n c o u v e r C i t i z e n s F i r s t " c a m p a i g n d e m o n s t r a t e d t h e c o u n c i l m e m b e r s ' 1.1 b e l i e f t h a t they were not r e s p o n s i b l e f o r the mass of unem-23 ployed. As a r e s u l t of t h i s a t t i t u d e and f e d e r a l p o l i c y , Vancouver looked to the p r o v i n c i a l government f o r r e l i e f from i t s unemployment problems. In March 1931, a desperate c o u n c i l d i s c o n t i n u e d r e l i e f to unemployed s i n g l e men not c o n t i n u o u s l y 24 r e s i d e n t i n the c i t y f o r twelve months. That f a l l , i n an e f f o r t to move unemployed t r a n s i e n t s out of the c i t y , the p r o v i n c e s e t up 237 r e l i e f camps, o n e - t h i r d of the t o t a l number i n Canada. In Vancouver, on l y d i r e c t r e l i e f was a v a i l a b l e and c o u n c i l f e a r e d i t s payments would not l a s t the year. An i n -c r e a s i n g l y unpopular C o n s e r v a t i v e government continued to r a i s e taxes but reduced grants to the m u n i c i p a l i t i e s i n the 25 p r o v i n c e . To add to the t e n s i o n , r e l i e f a d m i n i s t r a t o r s a t the p r o v i n c i a l l e v e l were charged w i t h c o r r u p t use of r e l i e f 26 funds. C i t y c o u n c i l and the c i t y ' s businessmen began to q u e s t i o n the e f f e c t i v e n e s s and e f f i c i e n c y of the Tolmie a d m i n i s t r a t i o n . A number of businessmen had o f f e r e d t h e i r s e r v i c e s and modest sums o f money to the c i t y . L i k e c o u n c i l , these men emphasized the e f f i c i e n c y of t h e i r programs and demonstrated l i t t l e sense of s o c i a l r e s p o n s i b i l i t y . H a r o l d Brown, v i c e -p r e s i d e n t of the Board of Trade, proposed to c o u n c i l t h a t a C i t i z e n ' s Committee be formed to c o - o r d i n a t e a l l s o c i a l agencies on b e h a l f of the unemployed ". . . so as to accom-27 p l i s h the maximum b e n e f i t of such v o l u n t a r y e f f o r t . " The new committee would ensure t h a t p r o v i n c i a l , m u n i c i p a l , and p r i v a t e agencies worked together w i t h the g r e a t e s t p o s s i b l e 28 e f f i c i e n c y . The Board of Trade a l s o arranged f o r p r o p e r t y owners to p r o v i d e weekly employment f o r r e l i e f r e c i p i e n t s 29 doing odd jobs around t h e i r homes. But d e s p i t e t h e i r c l o s e connections w i t h c i t y c o u n c i l through the Board of Trade's C i v i c Bureau and i t s members on c o u n c i l , b u s i n e s s m e n f e l t they c o u l d do l i t t l e a t the l o c a l l e v e l without more revenue 31 from the s e n i o r l e v e l s of government. With i n c r e a s e d proper-ty taxes out of the q u e s t i o n , aldermen and businessmen a l i k e looked to a shakey. p r o v i n c i a l government f o r a s o l u t i o n . By 1932, Vancouver c o u l d no l o n g e r a f f o r d to pay i t s share of d i r e c t r e l i e f and many unemployed, who had been promised s u b s i s t e n c e i n the c i t y , were f o r c e d to go to the camps. S t a t i s t i c a l l y , t h i s was the worst year of the depres-s i o n f o r c i t y c o u n c i l with 10,000 men on i t s r e l i e f r o l e s . Mass demonstrations took p l a c e i n Vancouver under the d i r e c t i o n of the R e l i e f Camp Workers Union, an a f f i l i a t e o f the Com-munist Workers' U n i t y League. Over 15,000 people, r e p r e s e n t i n g 65 o r g a n i z a t i o n s staged a hunger march to p r o t e s t the inade-32 quacies of the r e l i e f program. Of t h e i r twelve demands, c o u n c i l e n t e r t a i n e d one—unemployment i n s u r a n c e — a n d o n l y 33 promised to ask the p r o v i n c i a l government to c o n s i d e r i t . The anger and f r u s t r a t i o n of l a b o u r , coupled w i t h the c o n t i n -ued r e v e r s i o n of lands to the c i t y and the seeming i n e f f i c i e n c y of the near bankrupt Tolmie government, prompted the b u s i n e s s community to take d i r e c t p o l i t i c a l a c t i o n . The c a p i t a l i s t system was under a t t a c k . I t was up to the p r o v i n c e ' s f i n a n c i a l l e a d e r s to v i n d i c a t e themselves and t h e i r system. An understanding of the response to B.C.'s f i n a n c i a l l e a d e r s to the problems f a c i n g the p r o v i n c i a l government i n 1932 i s e s s e n t i a l to an understanding of l a t e r developments i n Vancouver m u n i c i p a l p o l i t i c s . The s t r u c t u r a l reform of Vancouver's government i n 1935 and the r i s e of 'non-partisan' p o l i t i c s t h a t f o l l o w e d i n 1937, stemmed from a b a s i c s e t of b e l i e f s about government. These b e l i e f s were a r t i c u l a t e d by Vancouver businessmen i n 1932, as a r e s u l t of t h e i r d i s i l l u -sionment w i t h the a b i l i t y of the p r o v i n c i a l government to manage economic a f f a i r s . While s p e c i f i c c i v i c developments would prompt change i n Vancouver, the i d e o l o g i c a l f oundations were r e v e a l e d much e a r l i e r i n a businessman's c r i t i q u e o f the p r o v i n c i a l government. In the s p r i n g of 1932, a concerned Vancouver b u s i n e s s community began to push f o r a 'non-partisan' businessman's i n q u i r y i n t o the expenditures of the p r o v i n c i a l government. H.R. MacMillan, the l a r g e s t lumber e x p o r t e r i n B.C., l e d a group of businessmen to V i c t o r i a i n A p r i l . Twenty-two o r g a n i z a t i o n s were repre s e n t e d , i n c l u d i n g the Canadian Manufacturer O r g a n i z a t i o n , the Vancouver Board of Trade, the V i c t o r i a Chamber of Commerce, and the e n t i r e Lower Mainland b u s i n e s s world. Under t h i s p r e s s u r e Tolmie gave h i s consent to a Com-m i s s i o n composed of f i v e b usiness e x e c u t i v e s : George Kidd, Vancouver c h a r t e r e d accountant and past p r e s i d e n t of B...C. E l e c t r i c ; W.L. Macken, C h i l l i w a c k f i n a n c i e r and r e a l e s t a t e agent; A u s t i n T a y l o r , Vancouver f i n a n c i e r ; A.H. Douglas, 14 Vancouver lawyer; R.W. Mayhew, V i c t o r i a manufacturer. These men had access to government records and were to make recom-mendations concerning the use of public money for 'essential services.' The Kidd Report, as i t was commonly c a l l e d , was 34 made public i n August 1932. The Report was a business class analysis of the s o c i a l and economic conditions of B r i t i s h Columbia and c l e a r l y re-vealed the attitude of Vancouver businessmen toward government in the t h i r t i e s . Accordingly, i f offered a businessman's solution to the problems of the depression: a balanced budget without increased taxation. In order to achieve t h i s goal a six m i l l i o n d o l l a r reduction i n expenditures was necessary with major cutbacks i n the areas of s o c i a l services, education, and highway construction. The commissioners were highly c r i t i c a l of the p r o v i n c i a l government's i n e f f i c i e n c y , a d i r e c t r e s u l t , they believed, of the party system. Party patronage, the inev i t a b l e outcome of a party system, was at the root of the province's overexpenditure and the m u l t i p l i c a t i o n of government positions. Their solution was 'non-partisan' p o l i t i c s or, i n 35 more p r a c t i c a l terms, c o a l i t i o n government. A highly cen-t r a l i z e d 'non-partisan 1 government, the commissioners argued, would provide the e f f i c i e n t management needed i n such desperate economic times. As "the f i r s t step on the path of retrenchment" the Report advocated a reduction i n the number of members i n the L e g i s l a t i v e Assembly from forty-eight to twenty-eight. Kidd and his associates argued that decision-making would be more 15 e f f i c i e n t i n fewer hands and that great numbers of MLAs only encouraged " l o c a l s e l f i s h i n t e r e s t s " who tended to think of. t h e i r own area's needs and not the greater needs of the province 3 6 as a whole. The Vancouver Province agreed. "An end to party p o l i t i c s " had been a prominent theme i n the paper's 37 e d i t o r i a l s throughout 1932. The f i n a n c i a l i l l s of the prov-ince were blamed on localism and the patronage needs of p a r t i e s . One e d i t o r i a l stated: If we had great and fundamental problems of deep and l a s t i n g d i v i s i o n s , we might have need of p a r t i e s . But we have neither. Our problems are simple business problems.... A small board of capable, responsible directors i s a l l we need for the carrying out of our business (38) The Kidd Committee and the Province pictured the i d e a l province as an extension of t h e i r business values. E f f i c i e n c y , they argued, not p o l i t i c s , was important. These arguments would be applied to Vancouver's form of government and i t s c i v i c p o l i t i c s within the year. The idea that government should be 'non-partisan' for the sake of greater e f f i c i e n c y was not a new one to Canadians. Urban reformers had advocated an end to party p o l i t i c s since the turn of the century. Reform-minded business and profes-sional e l i t e s had responded to the problems of urban growth with a plan that included the restructuring of " i n e f f i c i e n t " c i v i c government and the elimination of c i v i c p o l i t i c a l p a r t i e s . 'Reformers' blamed the ward system of e l e c t i o n for corruption, i n e f f i c i e n c y , and the perpetuation of partisan ideas and sought to replace i t with a more centralized, at-large system. Like the Kidd commissioners, these men wanted to put decision-making 161 i n fewer hands and proposed schemes l i k e a Board of Control, Commission, or City Manager form of government to achieve t h i s goal. The f i n a l and essential key to t h e i r success was the use of non-partisan rhetoric i n t h e i r campaigns. The non-partisan l a b e l allowed 'reformers' to appeal to the electorate and to advance t h e i r programs to the c i t y i n the name of pure e f f i c i -ent government. Historians who have studied 'non-partisan' p o l i t i c s generally agree upon the class and partisan bias inherent i n 39 the reforms advocated by l o c a l e l i t e s . Most so-called 'reformers' were overwhelmingly preoccupied with technical and business concerns and were not concerned with the ideals of democracy. The replacement of ward based elections with c i t y -wide elections took powers away from the d i r e c t l o c a l control of the people. These changes disadvantaged independents and minority groups favouring incumbents and those who could afford the high cost of advertising. Attempts to introduce higher property q u a l i f i c a t i o n s f o r voters which would reduce the size of the electorate further demonstrated the 'reformers' inten-tions. In t h e i r e f f o r t s to r i d the c i t y of "the e v i l s of party p o l i t i c s , " reformers s h i f t e d the " s o c i a l composition of c i v i c 4 0 representation heavily towards the middle and upper classes." 'Non-partisan' p o l i t i c s and at-large elections were the tools of urban e l i t e s . Much of the same analysis can be applied to the Kidd commissioners and t h e i r recommendations. Like the urban re-formers, the f i n a n c i a l leaders of B.C. refused to recognize 17 d i v i s i o n s within society, i n order to advance t h e i r own i n t e r -ests. Government, they argued, should concern i t s e l f with the interests of the province as a whole, not with the small-minded sectional concerns of areas or groups. This attitude stemmed from the basic b e l i e f that the province was a business whose success or f a i l u r e hinged on the success or f a i l u r e of i t s business and industry. P o l i t i c a l parties were not necessary. In fact, they promoted i n e f f i c i e n c y . The pre-occupation with business e f f i c i e n c y and the lack of concern for democratic p r i n c i p l e s that characterized the urban reformers and the Kidd commissioners set the tone for.the p o l i t i c a l changes that occurred i n Vancouver i n the mi d - t h i r t i e s . The release of the Kidd Report brought a storm of reaction from a l l sections of the community. Labour organiza-tions denounced the committee's proposal to hal t a l l further 41 expenditure on state-supported s o c i a l services. The educa-t i o n a l recommendations, which suggested an end to free secon-dary school and the possible closing of the university, were 42 c r i t i c i z e d p u b l i c l y by several U.B.C. professors. The com-position of the committee also came under attack. No e f f o r t had been made to represent organized labour, ethnic minorities, teachers, s o c i a l service workers, women or even economists. The Kidd proposals, explained C o l i n McDonald, President of the Vancouver, New Westminster, and D i s t r i c t Trades and Labour Council, " . . . w i l l i n no way benefit the working class but 43 are solely i n the interests of the money lenders." Economist G.F. Drummond protested that business and government had l i t t l e 18 i n common. One supplied services for a whole community; the 44 other made p r o f i t s for a few. P r o v i n c i a l newspapers, with the exception of the Province, concurred. "Government i s not a business proposition," asserted the V i c t o r i a Times. "Matters of public health, law and order, education, the protection of l i f e and property, indeed the whole s o c i a l order of things are 45 things which cannot be envisioned i n terms of money." Nevertheless, p r o v i n c i a l businessmen generally supported 46 the report's recommendations and urged speedy implementation. E s p e c i a l l y well-received i n business c i r c l e s was the report's c r i t i q u e of the party system, a c r i t i q u e that condemned a l l p r o v i n c i a l parties including the Conservatives. The business press almost unanimously condoned a highly centralized 'non-partisan' administration with the B.C. F i n a n c i a l Times going so 47 far as to advocate one man rule. As Robert Groves, a student of the Kidd Report and the Tolmie government, concluded: Such suggestions for change i n the structure of the government indicate that many members of the business community were thoroughly d i s i l l u s i o n e d with democracy as a means of coping with the economic exigencies of the modern world. (48) Although the Tolmie administration was embarrassed by the c r i t i c a l tone of the report, the Conservatives agreed with 49 the economic s p i r i t of the recommendations. The majority of proposals, however, for p o l i t i c a l and p r a c t i c a l reasons, were impossible to implement. A strong public outcry against the 50 proposals regarding s o c i a l l e g i s l a t i o n was the main deferent. The Conservatives did respond to the businessmen's growing d i s -enchantment with party p o l i t i c s . An increasingly unpopular 19 51 Tolmie administration proposed the formation of a Union government with the eventual reduction and r e d i s t r i b u t i o n of l e g i s l a t i v e seats. Tolmie approached both T. Dufferin P a t t u l l o , the L i b e r a l opposition leader, and W.J. Bowser, a discontented former leader of the Conservative party. Both men refused to form a c o a l i t i o n government. Nonetheless, these e f f o r t s pleased the business community and for a time the t i e s between i t and the government remained close. P a t t u l l o , by refusing to j o i n i n a c o a l i t i o n , reinforced the business b e l i e f that the Conser-vatives were much more l i k e l y to implement "business govern-ment" p o l i c i e s than the L i b e r a l s . The Vancouver Board of Trade agreed to Tolmie's request to set up a committee to promote 52 the Union idea. Most important, publication of the report had created some popular support for th e i r ideas of non-partisan p o l i t i c s and economical business administration. Prominent businessmen f e l t a ce r t a i n s a t i s f a c t i o n about t h e i r accomplish-merits. The attitudes developed by the B.C. business community i n the f i r s t three years of the depression were to characterize i t s actions throughout the decade. Big business f e l t strongly enough about the economic problems of the t h i r t i e s to advocate extreme and i n some cases absurd measures of retrenchment. The report demonstrated the alarmist nature of the group and t h e i r desire to take government into t h e i r own hands. Although the Conservatives would be defeated i n the 1933 el e c t i o n , the ideas of non-partisan p o l i t i c s and the accompanying philosophy of business government would not be forgotten. The Conservative 20 party had given the business community the opportunity to a r t i c u l a t e i t s feelings and to lay the i d e o l o g i c a l foundations for changes that were to occur i n Vancouver i n the next few years. 21 NOTES - CHAPTER I Margaret Ormsby, B r i t i s h Columbia: A H i s t o r y (Vancouver: Evergreen Press, 1971), p. 442. 2 A l l r e l i e f s t a t i s t i c s , u n l e s s otherwise s t a t e d , are taken from C i t y of Vancouver, C o u n c i l Committee Minutes, RG2-B2, R e l i e f and Employment Committee, v o l s . 61,62, S o c i a l Ser-v i c e s , v o l . 64. 3 John T a y l o r , "Mayors i n the Depression: A Study of the E v o l u t i o n and F a i l u r e of S o c i a l P o l i c y and C o l l e c t i v e O rganiza-t i o n " (MA t h e s i s , U n i v e r s i t y of B r i t i s h Columbia, 1976), pp. 79-80. 4 The Vancouver C h a r t e r , l i k e those of ot h e r Canadian c i t i e s , s t a t e d t h a t " I t s h a l l be the duty of the c i t y to make p r o v i s i o n f o r the poor and d e s t i t u t e . " S t a t u t e of B r i t i s h Columbia, Vancouver C h a r t e r , 1953, c. 55, s. 183. 5 T a y l o r , "Mayors i n the Depression," pp. 8 2-3; see John T a y l o r , "The Urban West: P u b l i c Welfare and a Theory of Urban Development," i n C i t i e s i n the West: Papers of the Western  Canadian Urban H i s t o r y Conference, e d i t e d by A.R. McCormack and Ian Macpherson (Ottawa: N a t i o n a l Museum of Man, 1975), pp. 286-313. In January, 1930 a n a t i o n a l employment conference was h e l d i n Winnipeg. See M. Lane, "Unemployment During the Depres-s i o n : The Problem o f the S i n g l e Unemployed T r a n s i e n t i n B r i t i s h Columbia, 1930-1938" (BA t h e s i s , U n i v e r s i t y of B r i t i s h Columbia, 1966), pp. 19-20. g C i t i e s had the power and l i m i t e d revenues necessary to d i s t r i b u t e l i m i t e d amounts of r e l i e f . 7 Donald V. Smiley, ed., The R o w e l l / S i r o i s Report: An  Abridgement of Book I of the Royal Commission Report of Dominion-P r o v i n c i a l R e l a t i o n s (Toronto: M c C l e l l a n d and Stewart, 1963), pp. 174-89. g See Robert Groves, "Business Government: Pa r t y P o l i t i c s and the B.C. Business Community 1928-1933" (MA t h e s i s , U n i v e r -s i t y o f B r i t i s h Columbia, 1976), Chapter I I . Groves i l l u s t r a t e s the p r o t e c t i v e m e n t a l i t y of busi n e s s w i t h examples of the hig h l e v e l of c o n c e n t r a t i o n t h a t e x i s t e d i n i n d u s t r y : the formation of new producer's marketing agencies such as the F r a s e r V a l l e y M i l k Producers' A s s o c i a t i o n , the merger of l a r g e c a n n e r i e s to form B.C. Packers, the c o n s o l i d a t i o n of r e t a i l o u t l e t s to form c h a i n s t o r e s , and the f a c t t h a t f i v e mines accounted f o r 90% of the p r o v i n c e ' s p r o d u c t i o n . Producers, i n the l a t e t w e n t i e s , 22 e m p h a s i z e d t h e need t o e n c o u r a g e c a p i t a l i n v e s t m e n t f r o m s o u r c e s o u t s i d e t h e p r o v i n c e . 9 F o r a d i s c u s s i o n o f t h e T o l m i e y e a r s and b u s i n e s s g o v e r n m e n t s e e M. R o b i n , The Rush f o r S p o i l s : The Company  P r o v i n c e 1871-1933 ( T o r o n t o : M c C l e l l a n d and S t e w a r d , 1972) , pp. 232-65. ^ G r o v e s , " B u s i n e s s Government," pp. 7-9. "'""'"The t w e n t i e s was a d e c a d e o f p r o v i n c i a l r i g h t s f o r Canada. F o r an o v e r v i e w o f t h e d e c a d e s e e W.L. M o r t o n , "The 1920s," i n The C a n a d i a n s 1867-1969, e d s . J.M.S. C a r e l e s s and R.C. Brown ( T o r o n t o : M a c m i l l a n , 1 9 6 8 ) , pp. 205-35. 12 G r o v e s , " B u s i n e s s Government," pp. 12-31. B u s i n e s s a n d g o v e r n m e n t had worked h a n d - i n - h a n d e a r l i e r i n t h e p r o v i n c e . See Ormsby, B r i t i s h C o l u m b i a , pp. 295-325. G r o v e s a r g u e s t h a t t h e r e l a t i o n s h i p grew e v e n c l o s e r i n t h e l a t e t w e n t i e s . 13 See T a y l o r , "The U r b a n West," ad p a s s i m . 14 C i t y o f V a n c o u v e r , C o u n c i l Mxnutes, RG2-B1, v o l . 30, September 8, 1930, p. 585. C i t y A r c h i v e s , V a n c o u v e r , B.C. 15 R e l i e f O f f x c e r G. I r e l a n d was a c c u s e d o f a c c e p t x n g m o n e t a r y d o n a t i o n s o v e r a p e r i o d o f y e a r s f r o m t h e L o g C a b i n and Wonder C a f e s . R e l i e f I n v e s t i g a t o r C. M a x w e l l c o n f e s s e d t o m i s a p p r o p r i a t i o n s o f m e a l t i c k e t s a m o u n t i n g t o a t o t a l o f 100 d o l l a r s a week. I b i d . , May 19, 1930, p. 170. 1 6 I b i d . , v o l . 31, December 31, 1930, p. 119. 17 I b i d . , v o l . 32, J a n u a r y 6, 1932, pp. 442-5. 18 M a c D o n a l d c r i t i c i z e d t h e d e p a r t m e n t f o r i t s l a c k o f b u s i n e s s s e n s e : "No e m p l o y e r o f l a b o u r u n d e r t h e c i r c u m s t a n c e s i n v o l v i n g t h e e x p e n d i t u r e o f m i l l i o n s o f d o l l e r s p e r annum w o u l d have a l l o w e d s u c h w a s t e , i n e f f i c i e n c y and e x t r a v a g e n c e t o go on." I b i d . , v o l . 36, A p r i l 29, 1935, p. 170. 1 9 I b i d . , v o l . 30, J u l y 29, 1930, p. 440. 20 I b x d . , v o l . 31, J u n e 25, 1931, p. 702. 2 1 I b i d . , December 31, 1930, p. 119; I b i d . , v o l . 32, September 28, 1932, p. 134. 2 2 I b i d . , v o l . 30, J u l y 29, 1930, p. 446. 2 3 23 C i v i c e m ployees and o f f i c i a l s r e d u c e d t h e i r s a l a r i e s . I b i d . , v o l . 32, November 30, 1931, p. 350. R e l i e f work h o u r s were r e d u c e d d e s p i t e t h e p r o t e s t s o f t h e R e l i e f W o r k e r s 1 O r -g a n i z a t i o n t h a t f o u r d a y ' s work was n o t enough t o s u p p o r t a m a r r i e d man. C o u n c i l c l a i m e d t h e r e d u c t i o n was a b s o l u t e l y n e c e s s a r y owing t o a l a c k o f f u n d s . B u t e i g h t months l a t e r a s u g g e s t i o n t h a t t h e work week be r e d u c e d f r o m f o u r t o t h r e e d a y s was r e j e c t e d on t h e g r o u n d s t h a t i t w o u l d a t t r a c t more unemployed t o t h e c i t y , t h e r e b y i n c r e a s i n g i n v e s t i g a t i v e c o s t s . One c o u l d e a s i l y i n f e r t h a t t h e r e a l r e a s o n b e h i n d t h e s h o r t e n -ed work week was a d e s i r e t o s a v e money, n o t p r o v i d e j o b s . I b i d . , v o l . 31, M a r c h 16, 1931, p. 366; I b i d . , v o l 32, November 30, 1931, p. 350. C o u n c i l f e l t t h a t m a r r i e d women whose h u s -bands were e a r n i n g good wages s h o u l d n o t be employed, m a k i n g way f o r t h o s e women who r e a l l y n e e d ed t h e work. I b i d . , v o l . 30, J u n e 14, 1930, p. 409.. E m p l o y e r s were u r g e d t o h i r e l o c a l men b e f o r e " a l i e n s " and c i v i c a l d e r m e n recommended t h a t none o f t h e c i t y ' s m e a l t i c k e t b u s i n e s s be g i v e n t o C h i n e s e r e s t a u r -a n t s . I b i d . , v o l . 33, May 15, 1933, p. 212; I b i d . , v o l . 30, May 19, 1930, p. 208. I n a community where j o b s were s c a r c e and 10% o f i t s r e s i d e n t s unemployed, c i t y c o u n c i l u r g e d t h a t V a n c o u v e r homeowners be g i v e n p r e f e r e n c e o v e r t h e " i t i n e r a n t workman and t h e newcomer." I b i d . , v o l . 31, A p r i l 14, 1931, p. 446. 2 4 I b i d . , v o l . 31, M a r c h 2, 1931, p. 320. 25 Ormsby, B r i t i s h C o l u m b i a , p. 441. 2 6 I b i d . , pp. 445-446. 1 5 3 , 2 7 C o u n c i l M i n u t e s , RG2-B1, v o l . 32, O c t o b e r 1, 1931, 2 8 I b i d . , pp. 153-4. 29 G r o v e s , " B u s i n e s s Government," p. 34. 3 0W.H. M a l k i n , Mayor 1929-1930; J . J . McRae, Ward IX a l d e r m a n 1930-1936; F r e d C r o n e , P a r k s B o a r d Member 1929-1936 and a l d e r m a n 1937-1939; W.J. Lembke, a l d e r m a n 1929-1932, 1935-1936; were members o f t h e B o a r d o f T r a d e . M a l k i n was a f o r m e r p r e s i d e n t . 31 No money b y - l a w s had b e e n c a r r i e d f o r two y e a r s i n t h e c i t y . C i t y o f V a n c o u v e r , R e c o r d o f N o m i n a t i o n s and E l e c -t i o n s 1924-1949, RG2-D1, 1931, 1932. C i t y . A r c h i v e s V a n c o u v e r . 32 R o b i n , The Rush f o r S p o i l s , p. 236. 3 3 T h e i r demands i n c l u d e d a s p e c i a l p l e a f o r t h e r e p e a l o f S e c t i o n 98 f r o m t h e C r i m i n a l Code o f Canada. C o u n c i l M i n u t e s , RG2-B1, v o l . 32, F e b r u a r y 30, 1932, pp. 583-4. 24 34 B r i t i s h Columbia, Report of the Committee appointed  by the Government to Investigate the Finances of B r i t i s h  Columbia ( V i c t o r i a , 1932). For an analysis of the report see: Groves, "Business Government," Chapter IV, pp. 122-58; I.D. Parker, "Simon Fraser Tolmie and the B.C. Conservative Party 1916-1933" (MA thesis, Univeristy of V i c t o r i a , 1 9 7 0 ) , pp. 108-11; Edith Dolbie, "Party History i n B r i t i s h Columbia," i n Historical.Essays i n B r i t i s h Columbia, eds. J . Friesen and H.K. Ralston (Toronto: McClelland and Stewart, 19 7 6 ) , pp. 75-7; Robin, The Rush for Spoils, pp. 238-43; Ormsby, B r i t i s h Colum-bia, pp. 446-8; T.A. Dunn, D.C. Jones, "Education, the Depres-sion and the Kidd Report" (MA unpublished paper, University of B r i t i s h Columbia, 1976), pp. 1-40. In part, the l o c a l businessmen's desire to investigate government expenditures stemmed from the recent example i n B r i t a i n : the May Commission of 1931. The Labour government had appointed an "independent, non-partisan, voluntary com-mittee" for the same purpose, whose recommendations—large scale retrenchment and increased centralization—became a model for George Kidd and his committee. More generally, B r i t i s h Columbia's re l a t i o n s h i p with B r i t a i n and America was changing. The decline of American prestige following the 1929 stock market crash strengthened the t i e s between B.C. and England. Economically, the province had moved away from the U.S. The. introduction of a 1932 lumber tax e f f e c t i v e l y ended southern trade, while lumber shipments to Great B r i t a i n r a p i d l y i n -creased. Philosophically, there was also a change. The pro-American l i b e r a l sentiments of government i n the twenties were replaced with the p r o - B r i t i s h sentiment and the conservative nature of the Tolmie administration. Attempts to purge schools of American textbooks and introduce large high school fees r e f l e c t e d the province's new p o l i t i c s . Business and govern-ment, a l i k e , were affected by declining enthusiasm for American ideas and an increased p r o - B r i t i s h o r i e n t a t i o n . The desire to present a report "similar i n scope and object" to the May Commission exemplifies the rejuvenated attachment of B.C. to the old country. 35 B r i t i s h Columbia, Report of the Committee, p. 16. Ibid. 37 Groves, "Business Government," pp. 139-41; Parker, "Simon Fraser Tolmie," pp. 107-8. 3 8 Vancouver Province, March 11, 1932. 39 . . Historians S.P. Hays, J.C. Weaver, A. A r t i b i s e , M. Gauvin, E.A. Rea, and J. Loriraer generally agree on t h i s point. A few historians object to the int e r p r e t a t i o n of urban reform as e l i t i s t and anti-democratic. Nelles and Armstrong, the two most outspoken c r i t i c s , argue that not a l l reformers supported highly centralized s t r u c t u r a l changes. Moreover, they argue 25 t h a t i n c e r t a i n i n s t a n c e s o r g a n i z e d l a b o u r c h o s e t o s u p p o r t a t - l a r g e e l e c t i o n s and b o a r d s o f c o n t r o l i n t h e b e l i e f t h a t w o r k i n g c l a s s r e p r e s e n t a t i o n w o u l d be i n c r e a s e d n o t d i m i n i s h e d . T h i s a u t h o r b e l i e v e s t h a t a l t h o u g h some r e f o r m e r s may h a ve been w e l l i n t e n t i o n e d and some w o r k i n g c l a s s g r o u p s may have s u p -p o r t e d t h e i r r e f o r m s , t h e c l a s s and p a r t i s a n b i a s c a n n o t be o v e r e m p h a s i z e d . See H.V. N e l l e s and C. A r m s t r o n g , "The F i g h t f o r C l e a n Government," U r b a n H i s t o r y R e view 2 ( O c t o b e r 1 9 7 6 ) : 56-7. The m a j o r C a n a d i a n e x p o n e n t o f t h e c l a s s c o n s p i r a c y t h e o r y i s J . C . Weaver. I n a c r i t i q u e o f u r b a n h i s t o r i o g r a p h y i n Canada, Weaver o b j e c t s t o s y m p a t h e t i c a c c o u n t s " o f f a r -s i g h t e d men a d d r e s s i n g u r b a n c r i s i s and w o r k i n g t o s a v e t h e C a n a d i a n c i t y . " By f o c u s s i n g on s p e c i f i c l o c a l s , Weaver demon-s t r a t e s t h a t r e f o r m was n o t t h e v i r t u o u s d e m o n s t r a t i o n o f c i v i c p a t r i o t i s m t h a t s t u d i e s o f key n a t i o n a l f i g u r e s and t h e i r r h e t o r i c w o u l d have us b e l i e v e . F o l l o w i n g t h e l e a d o f A m e r i c a n h i s t o r i a n , S.P. Hays, he p o i n t s t o t h e * u n p r o g r e s s i v e 1 e l e m e n t i n u r b a n r e f o r m , s e l f - i n t e r e s t e d b u s i n e s s m e n and p r o f e s s i o n a l s . Hays a r g u e s t h a t t h e i m p u l s e b e h i n d t h e r e f o r m movement was n o t t h e l o w e r o r m i d d l e c l a s s e s b u t t h e new u p p e r c l a s s . Weaver e m p h a s i z e s t h e m i d d l e c l a s s n a t u r e o f m u n i c i p a l r e f o r m i n Canada. However, b o t h h i s t o r i a n s a g r e e t h a t c e n t r a l i z e d d e c i -s i o n - m a k i n g c h a n g e d t h e o c c u p a t i o n a l and c l a s s c o m p o s i t i o n o f c i t y g o v e rnment a l l o w i n g b u s i n e s s and p r o f e s s i o n a l s t o a p p l y t h e i r e x p e r t i s e t o t h e c i t y . See J . C . Weaver, "'Tomorrow's M e t r o p o l i s ' R e v i s i t e d : A C r i t i c a l A s s e s s m e n t o f U r b a n R e f o r m i n Canada 1890-1920," i n The C a n a d i a n C i t y , e d s . , A. A r t i b i s e a nd G. S t e l t e r ( T o r o n t o : M c C l e l l a n d and S t e w a r d , 1 9 7 7 ) , pp. 393-418; " E l i t i s m and t h e C o r p o r a t e I d e a l : B u s i n e s s m e n and B o o s t e r s i n C a n a d i a n C i v i c R e f o r m 1890-1920," i n C i t i e s i n t h e  West: P a p e r s o f t h e W e s t e r n C a n a d i a n H i s t o r y C o n f e r e n c e , e d s . A.R. M c C o r m i c k and I . M a c p h e r s o n ( W i n n i p e g , O c t o b e r 1 9 7 4 ) , pp. 48-73; " I n t r o d u c t i o n : A p p r o a c h e s t o t h e H i s t o r y o f U r b a n Reform," U r b a n H i s t o r y Review 2 ( O c t o b e r 1976):3-11; "The Modern C i t y R e a l i z e d : T o r o n t o C i v i c A f f a i r s , 1880-1915," i n The U s a b l e U r b a n P a s t , e d s . A. A r t i b i s e and G. S t e l t e r ( T o r o n t o : M a c m i l l a n , 1979), pp. 39-72. , A l s o s e e : S.P. Hays, "Reform i n M u n i c i p a l Government," i n The U r b a n i z a t i o n o f A m e r i c a , e d . A.M. W a k s t e i n ( B o s t o n : Houghton M i f l i n , 1970) , ;pp. 288-306; "The C h a n g i n g P o l i t i c a l S t r u c t u r e o f t h e C i t y i n I n d u s t r i a l A m e r i c a , " J o u r n a l o f U r b a n S t u d i e s 1, No. 1 (November 1974):6-38. 40 Weaver, " E l i t i s m , " p. 58. 41 G r o v e s , " B u s i n e s s Government," pp. 146-7. See P r o v i n c e , September 7, 1932; H.F. Angus, "The K i d d R e p o r t i n B r i t i s h C o l u m b i a , " C a n a d i a n Forum 13 (November 1932):47-9. 42 G r o v e s , " B u s i n e s s Government," pp. 146-7; H.F. Angus, t h e most, o u t s p o k e n e c o n o m i c s p r o f e s s o r , a r g u e d 1 t h a t K i d d ' s s u g g e s t i o n s "were d e v i s e d t o p romote t h e e s t a b l i s h m e n t o f a 26 s e m i - l i t e r a t e r u r a l peasantry to serve as a pool of cheap d o c i l e l a b o u r i n a businessman's p a r a d i s e . " G.M. Wier, Head of the E d u c a t i o n department, condemned the r e p o r t as a c a p i -t a l i s t i c e f f o r t to c o n f i n e the youth of the p r o v i n c e to i n t e l l e c t u a l serfdom. 43 C o l i n McDonald to Tolmie, September 9, 1932, S.F. Tolmie Papers, Box 7-11, U n i v e r s i t y of B r i t i s h Columbia, Vancouver, B.C. 44 "B.C. Tax Problem," Vancouver Sun, November 10, 1932. 45 "The Committee 1s•Report," V i c t o r i a D a i l y Times, August 1932, Tolmie Papers, Box 16-6, U n i v e r s i t y of B r i t i s h Columbia, Vancouver, B.C. 46 Although a few b u s i n e s s o r g a n i z a t i o n s , l i k e the Can-adian Manufacturer's A s s o c i a t i o n , found the r e p o r t ' s recom-mendations extreme i n p r a c t i s e , a l l gave support i n s p i r i t . See Dunn and Jones, "Education," p. 18; Parker, "S.F. Tolmie," pp. 109-10. 47 Groves, "Business Government," p. 147. 48 °Ibid., p. 148. 49 The government d i d p r i n t an Appendix to the r e p o r t to p o i n t out the e r r o r s of f a c t and i n c o n s i s t e n c i e s through-out. See B r i t i s h Columbia, Report of the Committee, Appendix. 50 See Groves, "Business Government," pp. 148-9; Dunn and Jones, "Education," ad passim. 51 The C o n s e r v a t i v e p a r t y was weak and i n t e r n a l l y d i v i d -ed, w h i l e the L i b e r a l s were growing s t r o n g e r . Tolmie, l i k e most premiers i n Canada, was unpopular because he c o u l d not cure the d e p r e s s i o n . See Parker, "S.F. Tolmie," pp. 108-16. 52 Tolmie to General J.A. C l a r k , October 8, 1932, Tolmie Papers, Box 5-9, U n i v e r s i t y of B r i t i s h Columbia, Vancouver, B.C. A c c o r d i n g to Groves, "while m e t r o p o l i t a n b i g b u s i n e s s may have f e l t t h a t the C o n s e r v a t i v e s c o u l d have done more to implement the Report's recommendations, the government's a c t i o n was a t l e a s t i n l i n e w i t h what they had hoped would grow from t h e i r l o b b y i n g . " C i t y of Vancouver, Board of Trade, S p e c i a l Committee Minutes, October 4, 1932, Add. MSS. 300, v o l . 148, C i t y A r c h i v e s , Vancouver, B.C., c i t e d by Groves, "Business Government," pp. 152-3. 53 Groves, "Business Government," p. 153. Prominent L i b e r a l s warned P a t t u l l o t h a t the e l e c t o r a t e was d i s i l l u s i o n e d w i t h p a r t y p o l i t i c s . CHAPTER II PROVINCIAL-MUNICIPAL RELATIONS AND THE INTRODUCTION OF AT-LARGE ELECTIONS Vancouver m u n i c i p a l p o l i t i c s i n the m i d - t h i r t i e s were as much the outcome of p r o v i n c i a l as they were of m u n i c i p a l a c t i v i t i e s and d e c i s i o n s . The new p r o v i n c i a l L i b e r a l adminis-t r a t i o n under P a t t u l l o was no more a b l e to cure the d e p r e s s i o n than the C o n s e r v a t i v e s under Tolmie. Moreover, P a t t u l l o r e -duced p r o v i n c i a l g r a nts to the c i t y and r e f u s e d to come to Vancouver's f i n a n c i a l a i d . By 1935, many Vancouver MLAs were a l i e n a t e d from a p r o v i n c i a l government t h a t was u n w i l l i n g to save t h e i r c i t y from bankruptcy. G.G. McGeer, L i b e r a l MLA, Vancouver Mayor, and l e a d e r of a c i v i c n a t i o n a l p r o t e s t , was the major spokesman f o r the group. McGeer demanded a number of economic reforms from the p r o v i n c i a l government. Included i n h i s demands was a p r o p o s a l f o r a r e d u c t i o n i n the number of aldermen on c i t y c o u n c i l and the i n t r o d u c t i o n of a new system of a t - l a r g e e l e c t i o n s f o r Vancouver. In the c r i s i s atmosphere of 1935, Vancouver MLAs supported many of McGeer's economic p r o p o s a l s and helped i n i t i a t e s t r u c t u r a l reforms f o r the c i t y . The L i b e r a l p a r t y had captured a h e a l t h y m a j o r i t y i n the 1933 p r o v i n c i a l e l e c t i o n , w h i l e the CCF w i t h seven s e a t s became the o f f i c i a l o p p o s i t i o n . The C o n s e r v a t i v e p a r t y was soundly d e f e a t e d a t the p o l l s . C h a r l e s White, the former P r e s i -dent of the C o n s e r v a t i v e A s s o c i a t i o n , blamed Tolmie's p r o p o s a l s 2 7 .28 f o r a Union government f o r the d i s a s t e r . He e x p l a i n e d : While the r e s u l t s have been too sweeping they were a n t i c i p a t e d to a c e r t a i n extent as many o l d time C o n s e r v a t i v e s voted the s t r a i g h t L i b e r a l t i c k e t r a t h e r than accept the unknown and u n t r i e d suggestions o f f e r e d elsewhere. (1) The C o n s e r v a t i v e p a r t y had s p l i n t e r e d i n t o three groups p r i o r 2 to the e l e c t i o n . A l l three f a c t i o n s were p o o r l y o r g a n i z e d and found i t d i f f i c u l t to get a h e a r i n g i n the l a r g e r c e n t r e s as the campaign developed i n t o a L i b e r a l - C C F c o n t e s t . T h i s f r a g -mented o p p o s i t i o n , coupled w i t h the d e s e r t i o n of the business-community to the L i b e r a l s i n the fa c e of the t h r e a t of s o c i a l -ism, gave P a t t u l l o the advantage needed t o v i r t u a l l y sweep the 4 p r o v i n c e . Vancouver businessmen r e a l i z e d t h a t t h e i r i d e a s of 'non - p a r t i s a n 1 p o l i t i c s and a 'business government 1 p h i l o s o p h y of a d m i n i s t r a t i o n as proposed i n the Kidd Report, would have to be shelved t e m p o r a r i l y u n t i l a more r e c e p t i v e forum c o u l d be found. The c i t y of Vancouver e l e c t e d f i v e L i b e r a l s and two CCF members t o the new l e g i s l a t u r e i n 1933, a t u r n around from the 1928 e l e c t i o n when the C o n s e r v a t i v e s had f i l l e d the s i x p o s s i b l e s e a t s . P a t t u l l o acknowledged the support of ol d - t i m e Conser-v a t i v e s i n h i s acceptance speech. " I am aware t h a t many of C o n s e r v a t i v e thought supported L i b e r a l p o l i c i e s and candidates y e s t e r d a y , " he s t a t e d . "I i n t e r p r e t the sum t o t a l of the r e s u l t 5 as a d e s i r e f o r s t a b l e government and a c t i o n . " The Sun en-t h u s i a s t i c a l l y r e p o r t e d the p r o - L i b e r a l sentiments of Vancouver v o t e r s and condemned the r o l e of both the CCF and the Conser-v a t i v e s i n the e l e c t i o n : 29 The p e o p l e o f B . C . have s a i d once and f o r a l l t h a t t h e y b e l i e v e i n p a r t y g o v e r n m e n t s . They have o v e r w h e l m i n g l y r e j e c t e d t h e demand o f d i l e t t a n t e j o u r n a l i s m t h a t t h e y e l e c t 47 n o n d e s c r i p t d i c t a t o r s w i t h o u t p r i n c i p l e , w i t h -o u t c o h e s i o n and w i t h o u t l e a d e r s h i p . (6) A c c o r d i n g t o t h e paper t h e 1933 e l e c t i o n r e s u l t s r e f l e c t e d a n e g a t i v e a t t i t u d e t o w a r d s ' n o n - p a r t i s a n ' p o l i t i c s o r c o a l i t i o n government on t h e p a r t o f V a n c o u v e r v o t e r s and s t r o n g s u p p o r t f o r a L i b e r a l a d m i n i s t r a t i o n i n V i c t o r i a . D u r i n g t h e e l e c t i o n , P a t t u l l o ' s "work and wages" p o l i c -i e s were p o p u l a r among L i b e r a l MLAs and t h e i r s u p p o r t e r s i n V a n c o u v e r . H i s p o l i c i e s i n c l u d e d s u p p o r t f o r e d u c a t i o n p r o g r a m s , t h e c r e a t i o n o f an Economic C o u n c i l , and a v i g o r o u s p u b l i c w o r k s p r o g r a m . The P r e m i e r even a t t e m p t e d t o appease t h o s e who were opposed t o p a r t y p o l i t i c s "by p r o m i s i n g e v e r y member t h e f r e e -dom t o v o t e as he w i s h e d i n t h e House and o n l y t o c o n s i d e r t h e government o b l i g e d t o r e s i g n when i t had been b e a t e n on a v o t e 7 o f n o n - c o n f i d e n c e . " However , V a n c o u v e r ' s s u p p o r t f o r a L i b e r a l a d m i n i s t r a t i o n i n V i c t o r i a d i d n o t i m p r o v e t h e r e l a t i o n -s h i p be tween c i t y c o u n c i l and t h e p r o v i n c i a l g o v e r n m e n t . I n f a c t , t h e r e l a t i o n s h i p s t e a d i l y d e t e r i o r a t e d t h r o u g h o u t t h e d e c a d e . A p e r s o n a l i t y c o n f l i c t between MLA G e r r y McGeer and t h e P r e m i e r , P a t t u l l o ' s c o n s t a n t s u s p i c i o n o f t h e i n f l u e n c e o f b i g c i t i e s and b i g b u s i n e s s on p r o v i n c i a l p o l i t i c s , and t h e n a t u r e o f t h e p r o b l e m s c r e a t e d by t h e d e p r e s s i o n e n s u r e d t h a t t h e i n t e r e s t s o f V a n c o u v e r c i t y c o u n c i l and V i c t o r i a p r o v i n c i a l l e g i s l a t u r e w o u l d c o n f l i c t . The f i r s t r u p t u r e o c c u r r e d when M c G e e r , a p r o m i n e n t V a n c o u v e r L i b e r a l and w e l l - e s t a b l i s h e d l a w y e r , was n o t i n c l u d e d 30 i n the p r o v i n c i a l Cabinet. McGeer responded by p u b l i c l y de-nouncing the L i b e r a l party, claiming that he had been promised Q the p o sition of Attorney-General. Unrewarded for his e f f o r t s at the p r o v i n c i a l l e v e l , but determined to make his voice heard, McGeer turned his attention to Vancouver. In 1934, while s t i l l an MLA, he was elected Mayor with the biggest landslide v i c t o r y i n c i v i c history. McGeer played a key r o l e i n Vancouver municipal p o l i t i c s i n the m i d - t h i r t i e s . As Mayor and MLA, he was the major'link between p r o v i n c i a l and c i v i c governments. McGeer had made a name for himself i n the 1920s when he led B.C.'s case for 9 f r e i g h t rate reform before the .Board of Railway Commissioners. In 1933, his popularity, or at least notoriety, increased through his r o l e as Trades and Labour spokesman at the Banking Commission hearings. McGeer was outspokenly c r i t i c a l of the private money system and large financiers l i k e the Banking Com-mission Chairman H.R. MacMillan. 1^ Armed with his own ideas about a national banking system and a state planned and con-t r o l l e d economy,1"1" and displaying an evangelistic s t y l e that never f a i l e d to a t t r a c t attention, McGeer emerged an extremely popular figure i n Vancouver. A son of the east side of the c i t y , his crusades against communism and organized labour won him the support of the western downtown in t e r e s t s . However, he was never completely accepted by the west because of his un-orthodox, bombastic s t y l e of p o l i t i c k i n g and his bizarre views on monetary change. McGeer was e s s e n t i a l l y a populist who could draw on the support of voters from a l l sections of the 31 1 2 c i t y . The man had an uncanny a b i l i t y to take advantage of 1 3 popular causes. As Mayor, McGeer found a cause even more popular than his c r i t i q u e of big business. In 1 9 3 5 , he i n i -t i a t e d a Dominion-wide movement by mayors for c o n s t i t u t i o n a l change. This movement, which c r i t i c i z e d both the p r o v i n c i a l and federal governments' handling of the depression, would 1 4 eventually a t t r a c t the attention of the entire nation. Pattullo's attitude toward the c i t y and i t s business interests did nothing to a l l e v i a t e the developing f r i c t i o n be-tween himself and McGeer over c o n s t i t u t i o n a l issues. The Prem-i e r considered the push for 'non-party' administration during the 1 9 3 3 campaign as an attempt by Vancouver business interests to head o f f an imminent L i b e r a l v i c t o r y . He had condemned the Kidd Report, arguing that the document was a one-sided and reac-tionary attempt by metropolitan forces to dominate p r o v i n c i a l p o l i t i c s at the expense of r u r a l i n t e r e s t s . P a t t u l l o had viewed the proposed reduction and r e d i s t r i b u t i o n of l e g i s l a t i v e seats as evidence of an urban conspiracy to weaken the r u r a l voice 1 5 i n V i c t o r i a . Consequently, the Premier denounced the big business-government a l l i a n c e of the previous Conservative ad-ministration and created a Cabinet "as independent as possible 1 6 of the Vancouver party machine." Personality c o n f l i c t s and suspicions aside, the issues raised by the depression were enough i n themselves to cause f r i c t i o n between Vancouver c i t y council and the p r o v i n c i a l government. In an e f f o r t to avoid p r o v i n c i a l bankruptcy, P a t t u l l o imposed new r e s p o n s i b i l i t y for s o c i a l services on the 32 17 m u n i c i p a l i t i e s . The c i t i e s , i n t u r n , r e f u s e d t o accept what they saw as the "consequences" o f p r o v i n c i a l arrangements w i t h the f e d e r a l government and i n s i s t e d t h a t l e g i t i m a t e r e p r e s e n -t a t i o n to Dominion conferences c o u l d o n l y be made by the c i t y , 18 not through the p r o v i n c e . These r e a c t i o n s were common i n l a r g e r Canadian c i t i e s and i n d i c a t e d the emergence of a new c i v i c c o n sciousness. McGeer's proposed p l a n f o r a nation-wide conference of mayors c o u l d not have been more t i m e l y . The b a s i s f o r a common f r o n t by m u n i c i p a l i t i e s l a y i n the f a c t t h a t a l l were dependent on, and r e s t r i c t e d t o , the t a x a t i o n of r e a l p r o p e r t y f o r revenue. The e f f e c t s of the de p r e s s i o n were such t h a t p r o p e r t y owners were no longer a b l e to pay t h e i r taxes, and the m u n i c i p a l i t i e s ' o n l y r e c o u r s e was to put the pr o p e r t y up f o r tax s a l e . By 1934, the t h r e a t to p r i v a t e p r o p e r t y was so g r e a t i n the minds of Vancouver a l d e r -men, t h a t c o u n c i l voted t o d i s c o n t i n u e s a l e s f o r tax a r r e a r s 19 . . . . f o r a t l e a s t one year. Throughout the Dominion, m u n i c i p a l i -t i e s f a c e d the prospect of "the wholesale r e v e r s i o n of r e a l 20 p r o p e r t y t o the m u n i c i p a l i t i e s f o r unpaid taxes." Canadian c i t i e s f e l t they were a t the mercy of p r o v i n c i a l as w e l l as f e d e r a l governments. Vancouver c i t y c o u n c i l i s s u e d the f o l l o w -i n g statement: the p o i n t has now been reached where the very e x i s t e n c e of M u n i c i p a l i t i e s has been i m p e r i l l e d by f a i l u r e t o rec o g n i z e and apply an e q u i t a b l e , s t a b i l i z e d and per-manent b a s i s of r e l a t i o n s h i p between P r o v i n c i a l Govern-ments and M u n c i p a l i t i e s , both as to d u t i e s , s e r v i c e s , and revenues. (21) C o u n c i l members were not alone i n t h e i r b e l i e f t h a t the p r o v i n c e was not g i v i n g the c i t y a f a i r d e a l . P a t t u l l o 3 3 had taken a very hard l i n e on i s s u e s concerning Vancouver. The Premier s t a t e d u n e q u i v o c a l l y t h a t i f the c i t y c o u l d not 22 pay i t s i n t e r e s t i t c o u l d d e f a u l t . Vancouver L i b e r a l MLAs, l e d by Gordon Wismer, McGeer's former law p a r t n e r , grouped to g e t h e r i n March 1935 to p r o t e s t the i n a c t i o n of the govern-ment. Vancouver, Wismer d e c l a r e d , "must not be allowed 'to s u f f e r the ignominy and the i r r e p a r a b l e damage to p r e s t i g e 23 caused by bankruptcy.'" Wismer argued t h a t the s o c i a l s e r -v i c e s burden was too much f o r the c i t y and i t was the p r o v i n -c i a l government's duty to do something about i t . Mayor McGeer requested s e v e r a l economic reforms. He asked the p r o v i n c i a l government to suspend the s i n k i n g fund, reduce the c i t y ' s i n t e r e s t payments, p r o v i d e more loans f o r r e l i e f , review t a x a -t i o n s t r u c t u r e s , and a u t h o r i z e more baby bonds f o r the c i t y 24 to r a i s e money f o r a new C i t y H a l l . P a t t u l l o f l a t l y r e f u s e d . In response, Wismer recommended t h a t Gerry McGeer be sent to Ottawa to do b a t t l e f o r the West. "In t h i s f i g h t f o r the wel-25 f a r e of Vancouver, Mayor McGeer and I are f i g h t i n g t o g e t h e r , " he d e c l a r e d . Vancouver L i b e r a l s S.S. McKeen, Robert W i l k i n -son, Helen Smith, Gordon Sloan, and George Wier gave t h e i r unanimous support to McGeer. The w e l f a r e of Vancouver had become more important to some p r o v i n c i a l p o l i t i c i a n s than the w e l f a r e of B r i t i s h Columbia or the L i b e r a l government. The economic c r i s i s c r e a t e d by the d e p r e s s i o n had focussed t h e i r a t t e n t i o n on the c i t y . P a t t u l l o ' s hard l i n e approach to Vancouver's problems was supported by a f i n a n c i a l survey of the c i t y , r e l e a s e d on March 7, 1935, i n the midst of the M c G e e r - P a t t u l l o debate. Thomas Bradshaw, an e a s t e r n expert, had been commissioned by c i t y c o u n c i l to i n v e s t i g a t e Vancouver's f i n a n c i a l c o n d i t i o n . Bradshaw r e p o r t e d t h a t the c i t y was w e l l o f f compared to other Canadian c i t i e s and c o u l d a f f o r d mid-depression c o s t s . In c o n t r a s t , McGeer claimed t h a t the c i t y was going bankrupt and appointed h i s own e x p e r t s — p r o m i n e n t l o c a l businessmen and 27 p u b l i c l e a d e r s — t o s u b s t a n t i a t e h i s p o s i t i o n . T h i s d i f f e r -ence of o p i n i o n r e f l e c t e d a l a r g e r problem. Bradshaw was a hard-nosed c h a r t e r e d accountant who recommended severe measures of retrenchment f o r the c i t y . H i s r e p o r t d i d not take i n t o c o n s i d e r a t i o n the s o c i a l and p o l i t i c a l a n x i e t y generated by the l a r g e numbers of unemployed and Vancouver's growing debt. In 1935, Vancouver MLAs and c i t y c o u n c i l shared a more sub-j e c t i v e view o f the c i t y ' s problems t h a t was t o t a l l y j u s t i f i a -28 b l e from the p e r s p e c t i v e of the c i t y ' s taxpayers. The a n x i e t y o f Vancouver's l o c a l and p r o v i n c i a l p o l i -t i c i a n s over the growing debt and the i n c r e a s i n g numbers of unemployed was heightened by the CCF 1s presence i n the c i t y . The C o - o p e r a t i v e Commonwealth F e d e r a t i o n f i r s t had become i n v o l v e d i n c i v i c p o l i t i c s i n i t s founding year, 1933, but i t s 29 m u n i c i p a l campaigns were weak and d i s o r g a n i z e d compared to i t s p r o v i n c i a l a c t i v i t i e s . Under the ward system the p a r t y had been unable to g a i n any seats on c o u n c i l , w i t h o n l y occa-s i o n a l wins on the s c h o o l and parks boards. However, the CCF press encouraged support f o r f u t u r e m u n i c i p a l campaigns. Some pa r t y members argued t h a t , i n f a c t , the m u n i c i p a l i t y was "the 35 30 l o g i c a l unit for action, the l o g i c a l nucleus for change." The growing numbers of highly v i s i b l e , discontented unemployed in the c i t y , many of whom were a f f i l i a t e d with or at least sympathetic to the CCF, supported their, arguments and worried McGeer and his supporters. Two p r o v i n c i a l CCF members, Jack Price and Harold Winch, had won seats i n East Vancouver, and i t was only a matter of time before these working class wards also voted for s o c i a l i s t candidates i n c i t y council elections. Moreover, McGeer, who planned to run i n the upcoming federal e l e c t i o n i n the Burrard r i d i n g , was being challenged by a popular CCFer, Arnold Webster. By the mi d - t h i r t i e s , the CCF appeared to be making substantial gains i n public support i n 31 B.C. at a l l three lev e l s of government. E f f o r t s had been made from the outset to d i s c r e d i t the entry of the CCF into the c i v i c arena. The f i r s t was a news-paper campaign warning Vancouverites of the e v i l s of party p o l i t i c s i n c i v i c a f f a i r s . Using the rhetoric of past urban reformers and the Kidd commissioners, one major Sun e d i t o r i a l i n 1933 provoked a debate that continued for weeks. It argued that party p o l i t i c s was not necessary at the c i v i c l e v e l and stood i n the way of honest, e f f i c i e n t administration. Oppon-ents of c i v i c party p o l i t i c s used business analogies that emphasized e f f i c i e n c y to make th e i r case. "To mix p o l i t i c s with c i v i c a f f a i r s i s the very worse kind of business," the 3 2 paper e d i t o r i a l i z e d . Party p o l i t i c s bred corruption as c l e a r l y demonstrated by the problems found i n American c i t i e s l i k e New York and Chicago. The most frightening image was t h a t of "a minature Tammany" i n Vancouver; an i n e v i t a b l e r e -3 3 s u i t many argued, i f the CCF entered l o c a l p o l i t i c s . However, not a l l readers were convinced t h a t c i v i c p a r t y p o l i t i c s l e d to i n e f f i c i e n t and c o r r u p t a d m i n i s t r a t i o n . S e v e r a l commented on the newspaper's changing a t t i t u d e toward 'non-partisan' p o l i t i c s , and suggested t h a t the Sun was not being honest w i t h i t s r e a d e r s . One l e t t e r simply asked " i f f e d e r a l p o l i t i c s are c l e a n , p r o v i n c i a l p o l i t i c s are O.K. (according t o the Sun) why should m u n i c i p a l p o l i t i c s be 3 4 . . . . . . r o t t e n ? " Another p o i n t e d to the m u n i c i p a l e l e c t i o n i n B r i t -a i n where an honest labour government was v i c t o r i o u s , to counter c l a i m s t h a t machine p o l i t i c s was the i n e v i t a b l e out-3 5 come of p a r t y p o l i t i c s i n the c i t y . C l e a r l y , t h e r e were other reasons why the Sun and i t s supporters mounted an o f f e n -s i v e a g a i n s t p a r t y p o l i t i c s . The most obvious was t h e i r f e a r of an o r g a n i z e d s o c i a l i s t p a r t y g a i n i n g c o n t r o l of c i t y h a l l . The e l e c t i o n of two i n d i v i d u a l s o c i a l i s t c a n d i d a t e s , Angus 3 6 M c l n n i s and Parm P e t t i p i e c e , i n the twenties, had not prov-oked comment. But by the t h i r t i e s , the economic c r i s i s had c r e a t e d an atmosphere of p o l i t i c a l u n r e s t . The emergence of a c i v i c wing of the CCF which c o u l d m o b i l i z e the support of ea s t s i d e working c l a s s wards threatened, f o r the f i r s t time, 3 7 to d i v i d e m u n i c i p a l p o l i t i c s along c l a s s l i n e s . A newspaper l i k e the Sun, which spoke f o r west s i d e i n t e r e s t s , r e c o g n i z e d the p o l i t i c a l p o t e n t i a l of e a s t s i d e v o t e r s and condemned the e n t r y of the CCF i n t o the c i v i c arena. In l a r g e p a r t , f e a r of CCF success, prompted Gerry McGeer to mount his own offensive. In a f a n a t i c a l e f f o r t to d i s c r e d i t the party, he went out of his way to i d e n t i f y an e s s e n t i a l l y moderate CCF with communism, atheism, and the 3 8 'radicalism' of the unemployed. When Vancouver was occupied by 1,700 men from the r e l i e f camps i n 1935, McGeer accused the CCF "of using camp s t r i k e r s for p o l i t i c a l purposes" and implied 39 that the party was behind the s t r i k e . McGeer was an impas-sioned orator and consequently, his true motivation i s d i f f i -c u l t to discern. However, as a master p o l i t i c i a n , he must have r e a l i z e d that i t was the 'non-partisan' nature of l o c a l p o l i t i c s that strengthened c i t y councils i n t h e i r dealings with other levels of government. B. Hutchison, writing i n the Province, predicted that the united voice of c i t i e s could a f f e c t the future p o l i c i e s of a l l p o l i t i c a l p a r t i e s : While p r o v i n c i a l and federal p o l i t i c i a n s i n the western provinces are divided by party labels, municipal leaders having no party interests to serve, can stand together •as a' unit. Their influence should be i n c a l c u l a b l e . (40) The success of the CCF at the c i v i c l e v e l could divide the c i t y ' s voice when i t was most important that the mayor be able to speak for the o v e r a l l good of Vancouver. McGeer also was obsessed with the idea that council 41 i n i t s present form was highly i n e f f i c i e n t and corrupt. The r e l i e f department and the police commission were under con-stant investigation during McGeer 1s term of o f f i c e . The Mayor was e s p e c i a l l y c r i t i c a l of the d i s t r i b u t i o n of d i r e c t r e l i e f and frequently lectured his aldermen on the dangers of the system: 3 8 The f a c t t h a t r e l i e f a u t h o r i t i e s have d o l e d o u t t h e sum o f $9, 498 , 535. 67 d u r i n g t h e l a s t f i v e y e a r s w i t h o u t any a t t e m p t b e i n g made t o s e c u r e a n y t h i n g i n r e t u r n s u r e l y o f f e r s an i n d i c a t i o n o f t h e l a x i t y and i n d i f -f e r e n c e t h a t has p r e v a i l e d w i t h r e g a r d t o t h e u s e o f p u b l i c moneys. T h o s e on unemployment s h o u l d be com-p e l l e d t o g i v e f a i r and a d e q u a t e s e r v i c e f o r a l l sums w h i c h t h e y r e c e i v e . (4 2) Mayor McGeer was a s e l f - s t y l e d r e f o r m e r who made i t h i s m i s s i o n t o c l e a n up t h e c i t y and c i t y c o u n c i l a t t h e same t i m e . F i l l e d w i t h r e f o r m z e a l and a n x i o u s a b o u t h i s c i t y ' s e c o n o m i c and p o l i t i c a l f u t u r e , McGeer i n i t i a t e d a f u n d a m e n t a l change i n t h e s t r u c t u r e o f V a n c o u v e r ' s government. S i n c e 1928, when V a n c o u v e r amalgamated w i t h P o i n t G r e y and S o u t h V a n c o u v e r , t h e c i t y had b e en d i v i d e d i n t o 1 2 wards e a c h e l e c -t i n g one a l d e r m a n t o c o u n c i l . McGeer p r o p o s e d a new a t - l a r g e s y s t e m o f e l e c t i o n s f o r t h e c i t y and a r e d u c t i o n i n t h e number o f a l d e r m e n f r o m t w e l v e t o e i g h t . A c c o r d i n g t o t h e p r e s s , t h e i d e a had grown o u t o f t a l k s i n t h e L e g i s l a t u r e among t h o s e MLAs who were w o r r i e d a b o u t a d e f a u l t by t h e c i t y . As Mayor, McGeer had t r i e d t o i n t r o d u c e a m o t i o n f o r s t r u c t u r a l c h ange i n t o c o u n c i l . When c i t y a l d e r m e n d e f e r r e d any a c t i o n on t h e p r o p o s a l f o r a t l e a s t one y e a r , he t u r n e d t o L i b e r a l members o f t h e p r o v i n c i a l P r i v a t e B i l l s Committee f o r s u p p o r t . A p r o v i n c i a l amendment t o t h e C i t y C h a r t e r c o u l d f o r c e c i t y c o u n c i l t o a c c e p t t h e change o r a t l e a s t t o h o l d a p l e b e s c i t e 4 3 on t h e i s s u e a t t h e n e x t c i v i c e l e c t i o n . The House c o m m i t t e e ' s d e s i r e t o impose a new a t - l a r g e s y s t e m and a s m a l l e r c o u n c i l on t h e c i t y stemmed, i n p a r t , f r o m i t s i m p a t i e n c e w i t h t h e c o u n c i l ' s a p p a r e n t i n a b i l i t y t o 39 44 decxde on a s i t e for the new City H a l l . McGeer 1s plan to b u i l d the new H a l l on the Strathcona Park s i t e had been thwar-ted at every turn by l o c a l ratepayer's associations who 4 5 l a b e l l e d the Mayor a d i c t a t o r . Several members saw the ward basis of council as too sectarian to decide the question and went on to suggest that the choice be l e f t to experts l i k e 46 those men on the Town Planning Commission. McGeer, on the 47 other hand, i n s i s t e d that council alone should decide. A l -though the dispute was not resolved, House committee members a l l agreed with McGeer that an at-large system would be good for the c i t y . A smaller, more centralized council would be able to look aft e r the c i t y ' s interests as a whole and not be held back by ward p o l i t i c s or sectional demands. The issue of s t r u c t u r a l reform for the c i t y was only one of several amendments to the Charter proposed by McGeer and discussed by the House i n 1935. In the face of united pressure from Vancouver MLAs, Pattu l l o ' s attitude toward the c i t y had softened, temporarily. The Premier had met with the Mayor's Advisory Committee, a special committee of l o c a l busi-nessmen and public leaders appointed by council to advise i t on taxation and f i s c a l problems. These men, who had prepared the f i n a n c i a l report for McGeer i n response to the Bradshaw findings, acted as intermediaries between McGeer and Pattulo. After a day of private meetings p a r t i a l agreement was reached. The government would grant the c i t y the authority to do away with sinking fund requirements, allow council to use unspent by-law balances as current revenues, and r e l i e v e the c i t y ' s 4 0 budget of close to a m i l l i o n d o l l a r s i n r e l i e f costs. Clearly, the p r o v i n c i a l government had decided not to l e t the c i t y default. Vancouver MLAs were pleased with Pattullo's decision. Wismer introduced the Vancouver b i l l which quickly passed through the House. As part of the b i l l c i t y council would be compelled to submit a p l e b i s c i t e on the s t r u c t u r a l reform of government to the electorate i n the next c i v i c e l e c t i o n . The p l e b i s c i t e asked Vancouver voters to consider two changes i n th e i r e l e c t o r a l system: Are you i n favour of ending the ward system and e l e c t i n g aldermen at-large? Are you i n favour of reducing the number of aldermen from twelve to eight? ( 4 9 ) McGeer and several p r o v i n c i a l p o l i t i c i a n s were convinced that the new reforms, i f implemented, would make council more e f f i c i e n t , put an end to sectional squabbling, and maintain a united voice for c o n s t i t u t i o n a l t a l k s . So strong was t h e i r b e l i e f , that the House committee passed another amendment de-creasing the percentage of voters required for approval from 50 t h r e e - f i f t h s to a simple majority. The p r o v i n c i a l govern-ment c l e a r l y preferred a smaller, more centralized form of government for Vancouver. Vancouver aldermen, i n contrast, f a i l e d to see the benefits of the s t r u c t u r a l changes. With the exception of Halford Wilson, c i t y c o u n c i l l o r s loudly protested the "rather high-handed" action of the p r o v i n c i a l government. Alderman Loat declared: "They are taking away our rights to attend to 41 our own a f f a i r s . If they cut t h e i r own body by half there would s t i l l be too many MLAs."^1 P a r t i c u l a r l y i n s u l t i n g was the implication that council i n i t s present form was at best, i n e f f i c i e n t , i f not inept and seriously corrupt. Recent i n -vestigation into the use of c i v i c funds had given the aldermen 52 months of bad press and they feared the loss of t h e i r jobs. C i v i c p o l i t i c i a n s recognized that they had nothing to gain and much to lose from the introduction of an at-large system and the attendant reduction i n t h e i r numbers. From the c i t y ' s incorporation i n 188 6, Vancouver's wards had undergone many changes while retaining t h e i r basic 53 neighbourhood character. A l l of t h i s changed when Vancouver amalgamated with South Vancouver and Point Grey i n 1928. The new c i t y was divided into twelve wards. As the following map i l l u s t r a t e s , the old neighbourhood wards, except for the four along Burrard Inlet, were broken up i n order to introduce 'more e f f i c i e n t ' narrow s t r i p wards running north from the Fraser River. As a r e s u l t each s t r i p ward included a section from Vancouver and a section from one of the other municipali-t i e s . This completely ignored t r a d i t i o n a l neighbourhood boundaries (see Figure 1). An'alderman would ••no longer repre-54 sent an.area with„a d i s t i n c t i d e n t i t y . Consequently, by the mid-thirties there was considera-ble d i s s a t i s f a c t i o n with the ex i s t i n g ward system. Vancouver-i t e s i n wards f i v e to twelve could no longer i d e n t i f y t h e i r neighbourhood interests with ward in t e r e s t s . Moreover, by 55 1935 the number of e l i g i b l e voters per ward varied widely. 42 FIGURE 1 Pre-1936 V a n c o u v e r Ward Map, 1928 - 1936 The most g l a r i n g d i s c r e p a n c y e x i s t e d between t h e downtown d i s -t r i c t (wards one and two) and t h e s o u t h e a s t e r n w o r k i n g c l a s s a r e a s o f t h e c i t y . Wards s i x and s e v e n i n t h e s o u t h e a s t h a d , r e s p e c t i v e l y , t h r e e and f o u r t i m e s t h e p o p u l a t i o n o f ward t w o , b u t each e l e c t e d o n l y one a l d e r m a n . The ward s y s t e m no l o n g e r s a t i s f i e d n e i g h b o u r h o o d s e n t i m e n t s o r p r o v i d e d f a i r r e p r e s e n -t a t i o n f o r a l l p a r t s o f t h e c i t y . V a n c o u v e r v o t e r s were r e a d y f o r a change i n t h e i r f o r m o f g o v e r n m e n t . Y e t t h e s e i n a d e q u a c i e s were n o t t h e m o t i v a t i n g f o r c e b e h i n d t h e e f f o r t s o f Mayor McGeer , p r o v i n c i a l p o l i t i c i a n s , o r t h e M a y o r ' s A d v i s o r y Committee t o change t h e s y s t e m . A t no 43 time did these men r a i s e the issue of f a i r representation. . Problems with the ward system could have been remedied by the adjustment of ward boundaries but they proposed at-large elections. The Mayor's Advisory Committee had gone one step further and advocated a Ci t y Manager Plan, emphasizing i t s commitment to c e n t r a l i z a t i o n and e f f i c i e n c y . Their p r i n c i p l e motive was to create an e f f i c i e n t , businesslike administra-t i o n that could better deal with depression problems as they saw them. Paradoxically, the CCF also favoured s t r u c t u r a l reform for the c i t y . At the p r o v i n c i a l l e v e l , when L i b e r a l MLA G. Wismer had c a l l e d for a united front of Vancouver MLAs, CCF members r a l l i e d to the c i t y ' s defense and helped i n i t i a t e the proposed p l e b i s c i t e . The c i v i c arm of the party and the Dis-t r i c t Trades and Labour Council appear to have accepted the old urban reform argument that the a b o l i t i o n of corrupt ward 5 7 interests would lead to better government. There were also important p r a c t i c a l considerations. Under the ward system working class areas of the c i t y were u n f a i r l y represented. City-wide elections offered the CCF an opportunity to draw on i t s growing east side support and make a consolidated bid for power. If east side voters exercised t h e i r franchise, a new 5 8 at-large system could work to the party's advantage. Curiously, the Vancouver business community was not s o l i d l y behind the proposed s t r u c t u r a l reforms. Representa-tives of the property owners and l o c a l businessmen on the 5 9 Mayor's Advisory Committe  endorsed the propo ed cha ges,b u t t h e B o a r d o f T r a d e made no s t a t e m e n t i n 1935. I n 1936 t h e C i v i c B u r e a u e x e c u t i v e recommended t h a t t h e B o a r d o p p o s e t h e a b o l i t i o n o f t h e w a r d s y s t e m a n d t h e r e d u c t i o n i n numbers o f 6 0 a l d e r m e n . However, i n l i g h t o f t h e o v e r w h e l m i n g s u p p o r t f o r t h e c h a n g e s i n t h e December 1935 p l e b e s c i t e , t h e B o a r d o f T r a d e C o u n c i l d e c i d e d n o t t o t a k e any a c t i o n . No d o u b t , t h e B o a r d ' s r e l a t i v e i n d i f f e r e n c e was a r e s u l t o f i t s more i m m e d i -61 a t e c o n c e r n o v e r t h e e c o n o m i c amendments t o t h e C h a r t e r . I n t h e e n d , t h e r e was no o r g a n i z e d o p p o s i t i o n t o t h e p r o p o s e d r e f o r m s f r o m t h e b u s i n e s s c o m m u n i t y i n 1935 o r 1936. P u b l i c i n t e r e s t i n t h e c h a n g e was v i r t u a l l y n o n - e x i s -t e n t . L o c a l r a t e p a y e r s ' a s s o c i a t i o n s a n d w a r d a l d e r m e n , t h o s e who s t o o d t o l o s e power t h r o u g h e l e c t i o n a t - l a r g e , v o i c e d t h e i r o p p o s i t i o n b u t o f f e r e d no s u s t a i n e d a r g u m e n t . The p r e s s f a v o u r e d t h e r e f o r m s a n d c o n s e q u e n t l y p r e s e n t e d l i t t l e d e b a t e . M o s t a d v o c a t e s o f t h e new p o l i t i c a l m a c h i n e r y f e l l b a c k o n t h e a r g u m e n t s o f A m e r i c a n u r b a n r e f o r m e r s t o make t h e i r c a s e ( s e e F i g u r e 2 ) . The o l d s y s t e m was condemned a s " p e t t y , s m a l l , o b s t r u c t i o n i s t a n d r e a c t i o n a r y , " c r e a t i n g t h e "meanest k i n d o f p a t e r n a l i s m " i n c i v i c a f f a i r s . N e w s p a p e r e d i t o r i a l s c h a r g e d t h e w a r d s y s t e m w i t h t h e p r o m o t i o n o f p a t r o n a g e a n d c o r r u p t i o n , u n d e r w h i c h e a c h a l d e r m a n m u s t become "a p e t t y j o b s e e k e r a n d 6 2 f i x e r f o r a l l h i s c o n s t i t u e n t s . " C h a r g e s s u c h a s t h e s e w e r e n e v e r s u b s t a n t i a t e d a n d one w o u l d be h a r d p r e s s e d t o f i n d a ny m a j o r e x a m p l e s o f g r a f t o r s c a n d a l i n t h e w a r d s i n t h e 1 9 3 0 s . H owever, t h i s l i n e o f a r g u m e n t d i d p r o m o t e t h e v i e w t h a t V a n -c o u v e r h a d a n o l d - f a s h i o n e d , a n a c h r o n i s t i c f o r m o f g o v e r n m e n t . Surplus "Aldermanic Crop" Reducing Plan? S O U R C E : V a n c o u v e r S u n , D e c e m b e r 5 , 1 9 3 5 . F I G U R E 2 " S u r p l u s ' A l d e r m a n i c C r o p ' R e d u c i n g P l a n ? " C a r t o o n i s t : C a l l a n . 46 The press emphasized that i n t h i s day and age, l o c a l govern-ment should work for the interests of the c i t y as a whole. . Vancouver needed "Big men who have the metropolitan viewpoint," not " l i t t l e men who are big shots i n l i t t l e neighbourhoods." Voters were encouraged to compare t h e i r c i t y council with councils i n other Canadian and American c i t i e s and to consider 6 3 the merits of p o l i t i c a l reform. Vancouver c i t i z e n s voted i n favour of change i n Decem-ber 1935. 'Turnout for the p l e b i s c i t e was low--only 19 per-64 cent — b u t the average percentage of voters i n favour varied l i t t l e from ward to ward with a high city-wide average of 69 percent supporting the introduction of an at-large e l e c t o r a l system. In March 1936, the p r o v i n c i a l government amended the 6 5 Charter to abolish wards. The p r o v i n c i a l press immediately began a newspaper campaign to promote business e f f i c i e n c y i n government at the c i v i c l e v e l . In one e d i t o r i a l , representa-t i v e of many, the Province applauded the voter's decision to accept e l e c t i o n at-large, but advised Vancouverites to adopt the proper outlook: The change of form of c i v i c government i s nothing i n i t s e l f . There must go with i t a fresh c i v i c conscious-ness on the part of the i n d i v i d u a l c i t i z e n . What should be the nature of the fresh c i v i c consciousness? Simply t h i s : That the business of the c i t y of Vancouver which i s the biggest business i n Vancouver i s the business of every c i t i z e n of Vancouver. He p r o f i t s or he loses just as a share holder i n a private business p r o f i t s or loses from the degree of e f f i c i e n c y thrown into the management of i t . (66) Business government was what Vancouver needed and the News-Herald l o g i c a l l y extended the analogy: 47 The City Council with the Mayor as chairman i s i n fact a board of directors chosen to supervise and regulate the a f f a i r s of the c i t y . (67) It followed that businessmen would make the best aldermen and mayors. More than ever before, experience i n the Vancouver business community became an important c r i t e r i o n i n selecting c i t y o f f i c e r s . Fred Crone, an independent candidate i n the 1936 el e c t i o n , campaigned as a "Vancouver Businessman for the c p Past 30 Years," while George A. Walkem proudly boasted that 69 he was "the largest employer of labour of any candidate." Even those who lacked experience promoted "a more businesslike set-up" at City H a l l i n an attempt to c a p i t a l i z e on the cur-70 rent, popular theme: "Sane Businesslike Administration." Acceptance of the at-large system made Vancouver ripe for acceptance of the non-partisan philosophy. At-large elec-tions were most often found i n c i t i e s that accepted non-parti-san p o l i t i c s during the urban reform era. In Vancouver, c i v i c non-partisanship had been promoted since the entry of the CCF into c i v i c p o l i t i c s i n 19 33. With the introduction of at-large elections i n 1936, the idea that the c i t y was a business and businessmen made the best c i v i c representatives attained even more popularity. Non-partisan attitudes stemmed from t h i s fundamental b e l i e f . P r o v i n c i a l p o l i t i c i a n s , the press, l e t t e r s to the editor, independent c i v i c candidates and the Board of Trade strongly supported e f f i c i e n t businesslike p o l i t i c s at the c i v i c l e v e l . o f government. The f i r s t at-large e l e c t i o n i n 1936 would reveal how many voters supported a business govern-ment philosophy of administration for t h e i r c i t y . I t would 4 8 also reveal that unexpected long-term consequences of the new reform i n s t i t u t i o n . 49 NOTES - CHAPTER I I "''Vancouver Sun, November 4, 1933. 2 The u n i o n i s t s u n d e r T o l m i e ; a L i b e r a l - C o n s e r v a t i v e a l l i a n c e t h a t s p o n s o r e d 38 ' n o n - p a r t i s a n ' c a n d i d a t e s u n d e r Bowser; and t h e few r e m a i n i n g i n d e p e n d e n t s . 3 F.H. Soward, " B r i t i s h C o l u m b i a Goes L i b e r a l , " C a n a d i a n  Forum XIV (December 1933) :87; Sun, November 3, 1933. 4 I a n P a r k e r , "Simon F r a s e r T o l m i e , " pp. 106-16; Sun, November 4, 19 33. 5 Sun, November 3, 1933. 6 I b i d . ; I b i d . , November 18, 1933. 7 Soward, " B r i t i s h C o l u m b i a Goes L i b e r a l , " p. 88. Angus M a c l n n i s , "More A b o u t t h e B r i t i s h C o l u m b i a E l e c -t i o n , " C a n a d i a n Forum XIV (September 1934):170; Sun, November 21, 1933. 9 R o b i n , The Rush f o r S p o i l s , p. 207. 1 ^ M a c l n n i s , "More A b o u t t h e B r i t i s h C o l u m b i a E l e c t i o n , " p. 169. "'""'"See G.G. McGeer, The C o n q u e s t o f P o v e r t y (Quebec: G a r d e n C i t y P r e s s , 1 9 3 5 ) . 12 J o h n T a y l o r , "Urban S o c i a l O r g a n i z a t i o n s and U r b a n S o c i a l D i s c o n t e n t : t h e 1930s," i n W e s t e r n P e r s p e c t i v e s I P a p e r s  o f t h e W e s t e r n C a n a d i a n S t u d i e s C o n f e r e n c e 1973, e d . D.J. B e r -c u s o n ( T o r o n t o : H o l t , R i n e h a r t and W i n s t o n , 1 9 7 4 ) , p. 39. 13 M a c l n n i s , "More A b o u t t h e B.C. E l e c t i o n , " p. 168. 14 See J o h n T a y l o r , "Mayors i n t h e D e p r e s s i o n : A S t u d y o f t h e E v o l u t i o n a n d F a i l u r e o f S o c i a l P o l i c y a n d C o l l e c t i v e O r g a n i z a t i o n " (MA t h e s i s , U n i v e r s i t y o f B r i t i s h C o l u m b i a , 1 9 7 6 ) ; Sun, December 1, 1934. 15 G r o v e s , " B u s i n e s s Government," pp. 151--2; Dunn and J o n e s , " E d u c a t i o n , " pp. 24-6. 50 1 6 M. Ormsby, "T. D u f f e r i n P a t t u l l o and t h e L i t t l e New D e a l , " i n The P o l i t i c s o f D i s c o n t e n t , e d . R. Cook ( T o r o n t o : U n i v e r s i t y o f T o r o n t o P r e s s , 1 9 6 7 ) , p. 36. A c c o r d i n g t o Orms-by, P a t t u l l o n e v e r l o s t h i s s u s p i c i o n o f m e t r o p o l i t a n i n t e r e s t s , (p. 32) . 17 Sun, December 3, 1934. 18 C i t y o f V a n c o u v e r , C o u n c i l M i n u t e s , RG2-B1, v o l . 31, M a r c h 28, 1931, p. 424; I b i d . , v o l . 35, O c t o b e r 16, 1934, p. 538, C i t y A r c h i v e s , V a n c o u v e r , B.C. 19 C i t y o f V a n c o u v e r , By-Laws, RG2-C1, v o l . 55, November 15, 1934, p. 77, C i t y A r c h i v e s , V a n c o u v e r , B.C. 20 -C o u n c i l ' Minutes,. RG2-B1, V o l . 35, O c t o b e r 16, 1934, pp. 161-2. ^ I b i d . 22 "No I n t e r e s t C u t I f B o n d h o l d e r s O b j e c t , P a t t u l l o , " P r o v i n c e , M a r c h 8, 1935. P a t t u l l o P a p e r s , Add. MSS. 3, Box 83, F i l e 12, P r o v i n c i a l A r c h i v e s o f B r i t i s h C o l u m b i a , V i c t o r i a , B.C. 23 " C i t y ' s L i b e r a l Members U n i t e d t o Save C r e d i t , " P r o v i n c e , M a r c h 8, 1935, P a t t u l l o P a p e r s , Add. MSS. 3, Box 83, F i l e 12, P r o v i n c i a l A r c h i v e s o f B r i t i s h C o l u m b i a , V i c t o r i a , B.C. 2 4 S u n , M a r c h 6, 1935. 25 " C i t y ' s L i b e r a l Members," P r o v i n c e , M a r c h 8, 1935. 2 6 C i t y o f V a n c o u v e r , B.C., S u r v e y o f F i n a n c i a l C o n d i t i o n C o n d u c t e d a t t h e R e q u e s t o f t h e C i t y C o u n c i l ( V a n c o u v e r : H a l l , H o l l a n d and Company, M a r c h 7, 1 9 3 5 ) , by T. Bradshaw. 27 C i t y o f V a n c o u v e r , B.C. T a x a t i o n and F i n a n c i a l S u r -v e y o f t h e C i t y o f V a n c o u v e r C o m p i l e d by a S e l e c t C ommittee a t t h e R e q u e s t o f t h e Mayor, May 1, 193 5. 2 8 C i t y o f V a n c o u v e r , B.C. S u r v e y o f F i n a n c i a l C o n d i t i o n ( V a n c o u v e r : H a l l , H o l l a n d and Company, March 7, 1 9 3 5 ) , by T. Bradshaw; T a y l o r , "Mayors i n t h e D e p r e s s i o n , " pp. 102-3. 29 CCF a d v e r t i s e m e n t s were v i r t u a l l y n o n e x i s t e n t i n 1930-1935 c i v i c c a m p a i g n s . I n a t l e a s t two c a s e s , n o m i n a t i o n p a p e r s were f i l e d i n c o r r e c t l y and t h e p a r t y d i d n o t r u n a f u l l s l a t e o f c a n a d i d a t e s u n t i l t h e 1936 e l e c t i o n . 30 L. T e l f o r d , "The C h a l l e n g e Column," The Commonwealth, V a n c o u v e r , November 8, 19 34. 51 31 Three CCF candidates were e l e c t e d i n the 1935 f e d e r a l e l e c t i o n . Webster and McGeer ran a c l o s e race, but McGeer emerged v i c t o r i o u s . 32 Sun, November 17, 1933. 33 I b i d . , November 21, 1933. 34 I b i d . , November 28, 1933. I b i d . 3 6 Sun, November 30, 1933. See D.G. Steeves, The Compas-s i o n a t e Rebel: E r n e s t Winch and the Growth of S o c i a l i s m i n  Western Canada (Vancouver: J . J . Douglas, 1977), p. 75. 37 . See T a y l o r , "Urban S o c i a l O r g a n i z a t i o n s , " f o r a com-p a r i t i v e a n a l y s i s of the impact of the d e p r e s s i o n on c i v i c p o l i t i c s i n Winnipeg, Edmonton, and Vancouver. 3 8 T a y l o r , "Mayors i n the Depression," p. 254. 39 G.G. McGeer, "A Momentous D e c l a r a t i o n , " Radio Address t r a n s c r i p t , A p r i l 27, 1935, Pamphlet # 1935-09, C i t y A r c h i v e s , Vancouver, B.C. 40 B. Hutchison, "Favour McGeer 1s New Monetary C r e d i t Scheme," P r o v i n c e , January 29, 1935. 41 "At the C i t y H a l l , " The Commonwealth, Vancouver, February 15, 1935. The r e l i e f department spent $4,000.00 a month on i n v e s t i g a t i o n s . A c c o r d i n g to Alderman MacDonald, "the number of c o n v i c t i o n s d i d not begin to warrant such an expenditure." 42 C o u n c i l Minutes, RG2-B1, v o l . 35, January 2, 1935, p. 772. 43 Sun, March 14, 1935. McGeer's succ e s s o r , Mayor George M i l l e r , i n h i s i n a u g u r a t i o n speech, thanks McGeer f o r t a k i n g charge i n 1935 and s e c u r i n g the necessary amendments to the C h a r t e r , "Remarks on G.G. McGeer,"by George M i l l e r , January 6, 1937, McGeer Papers, Add. MSS. 9, Box 7, F i l e 3, P r o v i n c i a l A r c h i v e s of B r i t i s h Columbia, V i c t o r i a , B.C. 4 4 S u n , March 13, 1935. 45 "Ratepayers V o i c e O p p o s i t i o n to C i t y H a l l P l a n , " The  Commonwealth, June 28, 1935. The r a t e p a y e r s a l s o opposed the i n t r o d u c t i o n of a system of a t - l a r g e e l e c t i o n s . 4 6 S u n , March 14, 1935. 4 7 S u n , M a r c h 14, 1935. 48 Sun., March. 14, 1935. Committee members, J . P . N i c h o l l s , J . C . M a c P h e r s o n , T.S. D i x o n , W. Wardhaugh were t h e m a j o r s p o k e s -men f o r t h e g r o u p . 49 C i t y o f V a n c o u v e r , R e c o r d o f N o m i n a t i o n s and E l e c t i o n s 1924-1949, 1935 P l e b i s c i t e , RG2-D1, December 11, 1935, p. 209, C i t y A r c h i v e s , V a n c o u v e r , B.C. 50 B r i t i s h C o l u m b i a , S t a t u t e s o f t h e P r o v i n c e o f B r i t i s h C o l u m b i a , An A c t t o Amend t h e " V a n c o u v e r I n c o r p o r a t i o n A c t , 1921," M a r c h 23, 1935, c . 92, s e c . 3. 51 . " A l d e r m e n C r i t i c a l o f P l e b i s c i t e ; S m a l l e r C o u n c i l P l a n F o r c e d by Government," Sun, December 7, 19 35. 52 P r o v i n c e , F e b r u a r y 8, 1935; Sun, December 3, 1935. C i t y c l e r k , C. J o n e s and C i t y S o l i c i t e r , J.B. W i l l i a m s were d i s m i s s e d f o r n e g l i g e n c e i n c o n n e c t i o n w i t h t h e d i s q u a l i f i c a -t i o n o f R.P. P e t t i p i e c e as an a l d e r m a n i c c a n d i d a t e . C h a r g e s o f c o r r u p t i o n were b r o u g h t a g a i n s t I n t e r n a l A u d i t o r F r a n k S t e a d , C i t y C l e r k W.L. Woodford, and C i t y C o m p t r o l l e r W. Wardhough. 53 . . P a u l T e n n a n t , " V a n c o u v e r P o l i t i c s and t h e C i v i c P a r t y System," u n p u b l i s h e d p a p e r , 1979; "Wards," u n p u b l i s h e d p a p e r , 1979. 54 The breakdown o f n e i g h b o u r h o o d wards f i t s t h e Hays p a t t e r n . See S.P. Hays, "Reform i n M u n i c i p a l ' Government." 55 . . Sun, December 6, 1935. The 1935 v o t e r s ' l i s t g i v e s t h e f o l l o w i n g v o t i n g p o p u l a t i o n s p e r ward: Wards T o t a l P o p u l a t i o n Wards T o t a l P o p u l a t i o n 1 4,289 7 12,972 2 3,437 8 4,297 3 3,586 9 6,945 4 6,935 10 6,268 5 6,217 11 6,027 6 9,720 12 6,821 ~ ^ C i t y o f V a n c o u v e r , B.C. T a x a t i o n and F i n a n c i a l S u r v e y  o f t h e C i t y o f V a n c o u v e r . C o m p i l e d by a S e l e c t Committee a t t h e R e q u e s t o f h i s W o r s h i p t h e Mayor, May 1, 1935, pp. 13-4. 57 Sun, November 25, 1935; R.P. P e t t i p i e c e had a d v o c a t e d a b o l i t i o n o f t h e ward s y s t e m i n 1933. Sun, December 8, 1933; V a n c o u v e r Commonwealth, May 31, 1934. B r i t i s h C o l u m b i a F e d e r a t i o n i s t , September 11, 1936; I b i d . , O c t o b e r 29, 1936. 53 59 F.C. Compton-Brown, f o r t h e p r o p e r t y owners, e n d o r s e d t h e p r o p o s a l . Sun, M a r c h 13, 1935. The M a y or's A d v i s o r y Com-m i t t e e c o n s i s t e d o f C h a s . E. T i s d a l l , Geo. M i l l e r , G e o r g e Mar-t i n , J . P. N i e h o l l s > T. S . D i x o n , P e r c y McDermid, J . C . M c P h e r s o n , and P e r c y Pengough. 6 0 C i t y o f V a n c o u v e r , B o a r d o f T r a d e , C o u n c i l M i n u t e s , M a r c h 5, 1936, Add. MSS. 300, V o l . 13, p. 165. C i t y A r c h i v e s , V a n c o u v e r , B.C. fi l C i t y o f V a n c o u v e r , B o a r d o f T r a d e , C o u n c i l M i n u t e s , M a r c h 16, 1936, Add. MSS. 300, v o l . 13, p. 174. 6 2 Sun, December 9, 193 5. 6 3 T, . , I b i d . fi 4 A l t h o u g h t u r n o u t f o r n o n - m a y o r a l t y e l e c t i o n s ( h e l d e v e r y two y e a r s ) was g e n e r a l l y low, C i t y C l e r k F r e d H o w l e t t r e p o r t e d i n 1935 " t h a t i n t e r e s t i n t h e e l e c t i o n seemed s l a c k e r t h a n he had e v e r s e e n i n h i s e x p e r i e n c e d a t i n g b a c k t o 1910, i n c l u d i n g 24 p r e v i o u s c o n t e s t s . " Sun, December 11, 1935. C i t y t u r n - o u t i n 1937 was 35.3% a n d i n 1939, 33.9%. E x p l a n a t i o n s o f f e r e d ; "no p o p u l a r p u b l i c i s s u e " and " l i g h t r a i n . " B r i t i s h C o l u m b i a , S t a t u t e s o f t h e P r o v i n c e o f B.C., An A c t t o Amend t h e " V a n c o u v e r I n c o r p o r a t i o n A c t 1921," A p r i l 1, 1936, c. 68, s e c . 3. ^ P r o v i n c e , A p r i l 11, 1936. 6 7 V a n c o u v e r N e w s - H e r a l d , December 9, 1936. 6 8 Sun, December 8, 1936. 6 9 I b i d . , December 9, 1936. December 8, 1936. CHAPTER III THE CIVIC CCF AND THE FORMATION AND SUCCESS OF THE NON-PARTISAN ASSOCIATION The c i v i c elections i n 1936 witnessed a vigorous cam-paign by the CCF. For the f i r s t time the party ran a f u l l s late of candidates. The new at-large e l e c t o r a l system gave the CCF an advantage i n the c i t y . According to Regional Chair-man A. Johnson, "no wards or ridings made possible a c o n s o l i -dation of efforts"" 1" not seen i n previous elections. CCF clubs i n Vancouver agreed to work together. The new system also gave the party an opportunity to consolidate i t s support. Working class areas of the c i t y had not been f a i r l y represent-ed under the ward system. City-wide elections gave the party a new found strength i f pot e n t i a l supporters on the east side exercised t h e i r franchise. Consequently, the CCF campaign 2 emphasized the importance of voter turnout for t h e i r cause. For t h e i r part, c i t y aldermen, who had opposed the introduction of at-large elections, began to speculate on the effects of the new system. In 1935 Alderman Wilkinson had "expressed the fear that sectionalism and p o l i t i c s would creep 3 i n " once the ward system was abolished. Six months l a t e r , i n an address to the Real Estate exchange, Alderman Kirk warned of the danger of one group gaining control of C i t y H a l l through a block vote. He advised that another method of e l e c t i o n should be authorized by the Legislature i n order to prevent r 55 4 such a p o s s i b i l i t y . L i b e r a l and C o n s e r v a t i v e aldermen, who l i k e d to t h i n k of themselves as independents at the l o c a l l e v e l of government, r e a l i z e d t h a t the new system gave an o r g a n i z e d p a r t y l i k e the CCF a d i s t i n c t advantage i n the coming e l e c t i o n . A s p e c i a l committee of Board of Trade members appointed by c o u n c i l to i n v e s t i g a t e "the c i v i c e l e c t i o n s s i t u a t i o n " reached even more f r i g h t e n i n g c o n c l u s i o n s : i t was p o s s i b l e t h a t o n l y one s e c t i o n of the c i t y c o u l d e l e c t the e n t i r e board of aldermen. The problem f o r these men was t h a t t h i s power was i n the hands of east s i d e r e s i d e n t s . A c c o r d i n g to C.A.A. Heeney, Chairman of the A d v e r t i s i n g and Sales Bureau of the Board of Trade: An a n a l y s i s of the v o t i n g of the e l e c t i o n two years ago showed c o n c l u s i v e l y t h a t the s t r o n g e s t numerical vote was p o l l e d east, of Oak S t r e e t and, f u r t h e r , t h a t by no means a r e p r e s e n t a t i v e vote was c a s t , p e r c e n t -ages showing t h a t o n l y 50% of the v o t e r s r e g i s t e r e d t h e i r f r a n c h i s e . (5) The committee's r e p o r t demonstrated i t s f e a r t h a t the CCF c o u l d take advantage of the d i v i s i o n w i t h i n the c i t y . The e a s t s i d e working c l a s s wards, which had been under r e p r e s e n t e d under the ward system, and which had e l e c t e d CCF MLAs i n the 1933 p r o v i n c i a l e l e c t i o n , would i n a l l l i k e l i h o o d g i v e a l a r g e per-centage of t h e i r vote to the c i v i c CCF, who f o r the f i r s t time were running a f u l l s l a t e of c a n d i d a t e s . The committee proposed a meeting with the P r e s i d e n t s of the Rotary, Kiwanis, and L i o n s Clubs to c o n s i d e r what a c t i o n should be taken. Heeney suggested the promotion of a s l a t e of 7 'adequate' candidates r e p r e s e n t i n g business i n t e r e s t s . How-ever, a c l o s e r look a t the numbers and names of candidates that had already entered the race convinced the committee that i t was impossible to choose a p a r t i c u l a r slate at such a late date. Members were appointed to ask Mayor McGeer to reconsi-der running for a second term. He declined. With e l e c t i o n less than a month away, the committee f e l t there was l i t t l e g else i t could do. Opposition to the CCF was never c l e a r l y expressed by council, 'independent' candidates, or the l o c a l press. How-ever, a l l three groups campaigned for ' e f f i c i e n t b u sinesslike 1 government for City H a l l , strongly suggesting that l o c a l government and p o l i t i c s did not mix. In response, the Federation-i s t , a CCF newspaper, promoted a teamlike image for i t s candidates. "The CCF does not ask support for i t s candidates as in d i v i d u a l s , " the paper t o l d c i v i c voters. " I t seeks sup-9 port for them as a body of s o c i a l l y conscious representatives." In 1936, the c a l l for business government does not appear to have hurt the CCF. In f a c t , the CCF worked harder than ever before to present an organized, e f f i c i e n t image of i t s e l f to the electorate. At t h i s stage, i t appeared that Vancouver MLAs and c e r t a i n businessmen had not thought through the con-sequences of the new reform i n s t i t u t i o n . Three of the eight aldermen elected to c i t y council i n 1936 were CCF candidates: A.M. Anderson, R. Parm P e t t i -piece, and A l f r e d Hurry. Approximately 24 percent of Vancouver c i t i z e n r y gave t h e i r vote to the CCF. A l l incumbents except Halford Wilson were defeated. No doubt the numerous accusa-tions of corruption l e v e l l e d at council members during McGeer 1s 5 7 t e r m p l a y e d a p a r t i n t h e i r l o s s . H o w e v e r , m o r e c e n t r a l t o t h e i r d e f e a t was t h e f a c t t h a t t h e y h a d r u n a s u n a f f i l i a t e d i n d e p e n d e n t s who h a d t o w i n t h e s u p p o r t o f t h e c i t y a t - l a r g e . A l t h o u g h t h e CCF d i d l i t t l e a d v e r t i s i n g i n t h e r e g u l a r p r e s s , t h e i r c a n d i d a t e s h a d t h e a d v a n t a g e o f b e i n g a s s o c i a t e d w i t h a n i d e n t i f i a b l e g r o u p . T h e F e d e r a t i o n i s t d e s c r i b e d t h e v i c -t o r y i n t h e f o l l o w i n g t e r m s : I t h a s b r o k e n t h e s t r a n g l e h o l d o f i n d i v i d u a l i s t i c c a p i t a l i s t i c e n d e a v o r s . T h i s i s a v i c t o r y w h i c h i f n o t a u d i b l e i n M o n t r e a l , w i l l b e d i s t i n c t l y h e a r d i n V i c t o r i a . (10) P r o v i n c i a l a n d c i v i c p o l i t i c i a n s w e r e t o h e a r m o r e f r o m t h e c i v i c a r m o f t h e p a r t y d u r i n g t h e i r f i r s t y e a r i n o f f i c e . A M a r c h b y - e l e c t i o n k e p t t h e CCF name i n t h e n e w s . C C F e r H e l e n a G u t t e r i d g e w a s e a s i l y e l e c t e d a l d e r m a n o v e r t w o e x p e r i e n c e d o p p o n e n t s , C . J o n e s a n d H . L . C o r e y , i n d i c a t i n g s t r o n g m u n i c i p a l s u p p o r t f o r t h e p a r t y . 1 1 T h e C C F r a n w e e k l y c l a s s e s o n c i v i c a f f a i r s a n d e n c o u r a g e d s u p p o r t e r s t o g e t i n -v o l v e d i n c i t y p o l i t i c s i n o r d e r t o a c q u i r e m o r e e x p e r i e n c e a n d t r a i n i n g . T h e F e d e r a t i o n i s t a l w a y s r e p o r t e d l a b o u r s u c -c e s s e s i n o t h e r C a n a d i a n c i t i e s a n d u r g e d V a n c o u v e r i t e s t o k e e p i n s t e p . F i n a l l y , t h e p a r t y n e v e r l o s t a n o p p o r t u n i t y t o e m p h a s i z e t h e i m p o r t a n c e o f a c i v i c b a s e i n c a s e o f a C C F 12 m a j o r i t y i n V i c t o r i a . T h e m o s t t h r e a t e n i n g a s p e c t o f C C F c i v i c s u c c e s s , h o w e v e r , w a s t h e i r b e h a v i o r a s a p a r t y o n c o u n c i l . C i v i c r e p r e s e n t a t i v e s , l i k e p r o v i n c i a l M L A s , w e r e b o u n d b y C C F p o l i c y a n d t h e d e c i s i o n s o f t h e r e g i o n a l c o m m i t t e e . T h e t h r e e 5 8 13 aldermen were expected to vote together on a l l issues. The CCF 1s proposal that MLAs could not hold o f f i c e as Vancouver aldermen, a policy of the CCF party, was one example of an 14 attempt to impose party d i s c i p l i n e on the council. More controversial was t h e i r r e f u s a l to accept half-way measures from the p r o v i n c i a l government i n the area of s o c i a l services. R. Parm Pettipiece was the Chairman of the Social Services Committee and was bound by his membership i n the CCF party to impliment the party's p o l i c y of a minimum wage for the unem-ployed. In June, 1,500 unemployed men had landed i n Vancouver from closed r e l i e f camps and p r o v i n c i a l government projects. At t h i s stage, most council members were prepared to accept any assistance the p r o v i n c i a l l e g i s l a t u r e would o f f e r , but Gutteridge and Hurry refused to. accept any half-measures. Pettipiece wavered on the issue and the Sun immediately sug-gested d i v i s i o n i n the CCF ranks. The Federationist accused the Sun of tr y i n g to divide party members, while Pettipiece was q u i e t l y brought back into l i n e . 1 ^ These a c t i v i t i e s once again triggered a "no party p o l i t i c s " campaign. The Conservative News-Herald condemned the CCF for imposing party d i s c i p l i n e upon elected members who did not'follow party p o l i c y : Now i s the time to scotch the serpent of party p o l i t i c s before, having been warmed at the hearthside of our Council, i t becomes aggressive and d i f f i c u l t to expel. (16) Alderman Fred Crone and J.W. Cornett sponsored a motion i n council "deprecating the introduction of p a r t y p o l i t i c s into 17 c i v i c a f f a i r s . " This was an obvious attempt to d i s c r e d i t the CCF members on council. Crone, a L i b e r a l MLA, and Cornett, a former Conservative MLA, withdrew the motion i n the face of CCF accusations that "old l i n e p o l i t i c a l parties representative of a minority group of vested i n t e r e s t s " had dominated City 18 H a l l i n an "underground fashion" for years. F i r e s were fueled by the CCF decision to deny Pettipiece an endorsement 19 for the 1937 e l e c t i o n . The party was c r i t i c i z e d for i t s Tammany Ha l l t a c t i c s ; no party had the r i g h t to dictate the 20 alderman's course of action. Letters to the editor r e f l e c -ted support for Pettipiece's decision to resign from the CCF and displayed a growing b e l i e f i n the 'non-partisan' philoso-phy. In the words of one pioneer c i t i z e n : Mr. Pettipiece i s a very f i n e upstanding, c i t i z e n . We do not want p o l i t i c s i n our City Council. They [the councillors] are. there, for .the best in t e r e s t s of the c i t y at-large. (21) There was only one viable answer to counter the threat posed by the CCF—a broader based, better organized e n t i t y to oppose i t . The CCF's behavior on council had c r y s t a l l i z e d the need for such an organization. In the midst of the Pettipiece controversy a new c i v i c p o l i t i c a l group, the Non-Partisan Association, was formed. Eight men met i n a downtown o f f i c e , only one month before the 1937 at-large e l e c t i o n , to discuss 22 t h e i r c i t y ' s p o l i t i c a l future. The r e s u l t was the formation of a new association dedicated to the elimination of party p o l i t i c s at the c i v i c l e v e l of government. According to the founding members i t was the duty of the Non-Partisan Associa-t i o n to protect the i n t e g r i t y of c i v i c p o l i t i c s by endorsing candidates who had not pledged allegiance to any outside body. 60 To ensure i t s non-partisan character the NPA resolved not -to r e c r u i t candidates; rather, i t s sole function would be to en-dorse them and then p u b l i c i z e i t s sele c t i o n . Once elected, candidates would be under no obli g a t i o n to the Non-Partisan Association and free to act according to t h e i r own consciences 23 i n the best interests of Vancouver. However, i t was clear from the outset, that the Non-partisan Association was a L i b e r a l and Conservative reaction to the recent success of the Co-operative Commonwealth Federa-t i o n i n municipal p o l i t i c s . To enter c i v i c p o l i t i c s under L i b e r a l and Conservative banners would s p l i t the non - s o c i a l i s t vote and increase the l i k e l i h o o d of a CCF majority. A L i b e r a l -Conservative a l l i a n c e was the only way to combat the growing s o c i a l i s t threat. Here, the philosophy of non-partisanship lent i t s e l f to t h e i r cause. Without d i r e c t l y attacking the CCF, the association could work towards the elimination of the CCF party at the c i v i c l e v e l by attacking a l l partisan involvement. Once Liberals and Conservatives had amalgamated to form the NPA, the CCF would be the only party remaining at the c i v i c l e v e l and therefore, by d e f i n i t i o n , the enemy. The background and p o l i t i c a l a f f i l i a t i o n of the found-ing members brings the non-partisan nature of the group im-mediately into question. A l l of them were successful, well-connected and established i n the Vancouver community. G.V.W. Odium was a newspaper publisher, D. Pratt and R. Holland were lawyers and R . K . Rhodes was a senior o f f i c e r i n the Canadian Bank of Commerce. The remaining four were important business figures; B.S. Brown—an insurance agent; S.S. McKeen—presid-ent of his own large firm; J.C. MacPherson—a r e a l t y company 24 owner; and L. C r a i g — a grain broker. The majority were mem-25 bers of the Board of Trade's C i v i c Bureau. Their p o l i t i c a l a f f i l i a t i o n s were even more revealing. Odium and McKeen were former L i b e r a l MLAs, Brown was p r o v i n c i a l vice-president of 2 6 the L i b e r a l party, and Pratt was p r o v i n c i a l secretary of the Conservative party. At the municipal l e v e l , Holland was chairman of the parksboard and Craig had been manager of two successful mayoralty campaigns—McGeer's i n 1934 and M i l l e r ' s i n 1936—and had managed p r o v i n c i a l L i b e r a l campaigns. Clear-l y , these men had both the motive and the means to mount an anti-CCF offensive under the guise of the Non-Partisan Associ-ation. The CCF l o s t no time whatever i n attacking the 'non-partisan' character of the new organization. Through sharp p o l i t i c a l cartoons (see Figures 3 and 4) and e d i t o r i a l s , the Federationist r i d i c u l e d "the hypocrisy of the 'no p o l i t i e s ' 27 smokescreen" used by the NPA. The paper e d i t o r i a l i z e d : The Non-Partisan Association i s just as much a party as i s the CCF. It i s true that i t has within i t s ranks Liberals and Conservatives. That does not make i t Non-partisan; i t makes i t Bi-Partisan. (28) The f i r s t public meeting demonstrated who the NPA represented 29 and to whom i t appealled. The names i n attendance repres-ented some of the major business interests of the province, and almost to a man i t s supporters were cl o s e l y a f f i l i a t e d with the old l i n e p r o v i n c i a l p a r t i e s . Some had been suppor-62 1937. SOURCE: B r i t i s h C o l u m b i a F e d e r a t i o n i s t , November 18, FIGURE 3 ' N o n - P a r t i s a n ' Group Seen As O l d L i n e P a r t y C o m b i n a t i o n " R e p r i n t e d by p e r m i s s i o n , t h e Democrat. 63 SOURCE: B r i t i s h Columbia F e d e r a t i o n i s t , December 2, 1937/November 10, 1938. FIGURE 4 " C i v i c E l e c t i o n Cartoon" Reprinted by p e r m i s s i o n , the Democrat. 64 ters of the Kidd Report. Austin Taylor, a member of the NPA's f i r s t finance committee, was one of the f i v e contributors to the report that recommended an end to p r o v i n c i a l party p o l i t -i c s i n 1933. Others like''Mayor. McGeer and several members of his Advistory Committee supported the new vehicle because i t 30 challenged the CCF. S t i l l others l i k e Alderman H.L. Corey r e a l i z e d the advantages of working with an organized group i n 31 a city-wide contest. I t was cl e a r to the CCF and to anyone who read the o r i g i n a l membership roles that the NPA was, i n the words of the Federationist: a combination of Liberals and Conservatives who are taking part i n c i v i c p o l i t i c s at t h i s time because they f e e l that the s p e c i a l p r i v i l e g e s on which they l i v e and which they represent might be jeopardized by the e l e c t i o n of CCF candidates. (32) In contrast, the Sun and Province reported the NPA's b i r t h with delight. Both papers c a r e f u l l y l i s t e d the "promin-ent c i t i z e n s " i n attendance and stated unequivocally that the association had been formed as a reaction to the entry of the 33 CCF into the c i v i c f i e l d . In the following weeks, e d i t o r i -a ls under such headings as "No Party P o l i t i c s " and "No P o l i t -i c s i n C i v i c A f f a i r s " r e f l e c t e d these newspapers' favourable attitude towards the association's formation and philosophy. "The motive i s a worthy one" declared the Conservative Prov-34 ince. "Party p o l i t i c s have no place i n the c i v i c f i e l d . " The Sun was even more generous i n i t s praise: It i s . . . freedom from domination and perpetuation of sane independent thinking that the NPA aims to assure . . . . This movement i s a gesture of pure democracy. (35) 65 Of course the L i b e r a l Sun c a r e f u l l y explained that i t did not question "the motives or s i n c e r i t y of any p o l i t i c a l party that sought to gain control of Vancouver's c i v i c a f f a i r s " but rather i t would "deprecate very vigorously the consequences 3 6 of such p o l i t i c a l control." That the people of Vancouver generally agreed with the Sun and Province e d i t o r i a l s was demonstrated to the papers' s a t i s f a c t i o n one month l a t e r when the NPA won nine out of a possible eleven seats for council, parks board, and school board, while CCF representation was reduced to one. I n the eyes of the Sun the reason for the NPA's success was obvious. "Vancouver's economic and p o l i t i c a l outlook was sharply a l -tered on Wednesday," reported the paper. The large vote polled for NPA candidates was "an i n f e r e n t i a l decision on the part of Vancouver people that they w i l l tolerate no party 37 p o l i t i c s i n t h e i r c i v i c a f f a i r s . " Yet despite the media's claims that the e l e c t i o n was a triumph of "democratic common sense," t h i s was c l e a r l y not the case i n 1937. On the contrary, e l e c t i o n r e s u l t s demon-strate that the vote had divided between the CCF and the NPA. "We would have elected a l l our men i f the vote had not been 38 s p l i t , " explained ex-mayor and NPAer Gerry McGeer. In fact, the NPA received only 40 percent of the aldermanic vote, with the CCF p o l l i n g 31.5 percent, but the 8.5 percent spread i n aldermanic vote was s u f f i c i e n t to ele c t NPA candidates to three out of four available aldermanic seats. Overall, the association won a t o t a l of 81 percent of the vacancies. Its s t r e n g t h was unquestionably on the west s i d e . The NPA's sup-p o r t i n every pre-1936 east s i d e ward was lower than i n every 39 pre-1936 west s i d e ward. As the f o l l o w i n g diagram (Figure 5) i l l u s t r a t e s , the c i t y was p o l i t i c a l l y d i v i d e d between east and west. % of Vote Received by NPA 70-80 60-70 50-60 40-50 g 30-40 2ZZ3 20-30 | | FIGURE 5 Pre-1936 Ward Map: NPA Aldermanic Support 1937 E l e c t i o n C l e a r l y , the success of the NPA cannot be attributed to a sudden city-wide change i n p o l i t i c a l outlook, as sug-gested i n the Sun and Province. There simply was no sudden s h i f t of p o l i t i c a l allegiance. A more accurate conclusion i s that these newspapers represented west side i n t e r e s t s . Moreover, i t would appear that the 'non-partisan' nature of the NPA had l i t t l e to do with i t s success i n 1937, except i n -sofar as i t provided an organization that would serve as an a l t e r n a t i v e to the CCF for the bloc of west side voters. The c r u c i a l factor was the replacement of the ward system with an at-large system. The NPA was a well-organized, moneyed group 40 that could afford to advertise on a city-wide basis. More important, the basic mechanics of an "at-large" system allowed the largest bloc of voters to take everything. I t was t h i s "winner take a l l " aspect of the new system that made i t possible for the NPA with only 40 percent of the aldermanic vote, drawn from only one side of the c i t y , to dominate c i t y p o l i t i c s . A closer look at the candidates who ran i n 1936 and 1937 reveals the importance of organizational support. West side voters generally supported a s t r a i g h t NPA t i c k e t , regard-less of the individuals endorsed by the association. Henry Lyman Corey who had represented Ward 12 i n 193 5 and had l o s t i n the f i r s t at-large e l e c t i o n , came back with the NPA i n 1937 to top the p o l l s . "I l o s t because there was no organization behind me," Corey t o l d a reporter. "This year I got i n . It goes to show that some organization i s necessary i f you are 41 going to get anywhere." Even more revealing i s the case of R. Parm Pettipiece. He campaigned under the CCF banner i n 1936 and was elected. In 1937 he ran on the NPA t i c k e t and 6 8 l o s t . While his support more than doubled i n west side wards, he suffered substantial losses on the east side, i n d i c a t i n g not so much support for the man but rather west side support for the ideology of the NPA. More d i f f i c u l t to determine i s what the voter believed that ideology to be—non-party or non-s o c i a l i s t or both. The advantage of an organized group over an i n d i v i d u a l candidate under an at-large system was further demonstrated i n the case of L i l e t t e Mahon. In 1936, Mahon was the stron-gest among independent candidates i n the c i t y . The formation of the NPA, which gave c i v i c voters two i d e n t i f i a b l e groups to choose from, lessoned her chances of success. While NPA and CCF candidates made substantial gains i n 1937, her c i t y -wide strength increased by only two percent--not enough to gain a seat. The e l e c t i o n i n 1937 of three NPA candidates out of a possible four had l i t t l e e f f e c t on the composition and character of a council of eight: the major change was the reduction of CCF representation to one alderman. The top four independent aldermen, who would run again i n 1938 as NPA candidates, were elected i n 193 6 for two year terms. In t h e i r second year, 1937, they were joined by three NPAers: Kirk, Corey, and DeGraves, and CCFer Gutteridge. None of these successful candidates were new to council. A l l were fa m i l i a r with the issues of the day. A l l had established attitudes which would not a l t e r as a r e s u l t of a new 'non-partisan' l a b e l . The issues facing council had not changed and would not u n t i l the end of the t h i r t i e s . The antagonism between c i v i c and p r o v i n c i a l governments resurfaced i n 1 9 3 8 when the Premier refused to come to Vancouver's aid during the May s i t -down s t r i k e of r e l i e f camp men. The c i t y council maintained i t s hardline p o l i c y of not granting assistance to single un-employed men. Pattullo's r e f u s a l to intervene and his reduc-t i o n of municipal loans to c i t i e s throughout the province was greatly resented by Vancouver c i t i z e n s . Alderman Crone, an NPAer and L i b e r a l MLA, wrote to P a t t u l l o i n July warning him that Vancouver could not be treated l i k e other m u n i c i p a l i t i e s . The c i t y was one-third of the province's population and he believed Vancouver people to be very c i v i c minded. Crone t o l d the Premier: "The f i n a n c i a l i n t e g r i t y of Vancouver i s of just 42 as much importance to me as the f i n a n c i a l i n t e g r i t y of B.C." The majority of c i t y c o u n c i l l o r s agreed. Vancouver aldermen i n the 1930s were obsessed with the p o s s i b i l i t y of insolvency and were determined to protect t h e i r c i t y from the loose spending p o l i c i e s of the CCF and the unfair r e l i e f programs of the p r o v i n c i a l and federal governments. The 1938 c i v i c e l e c t i o n reinforced both the greatest hopes and the gravest fears of these c o u n c i l l o r s and the prov-i n c i a l p o l i t i c a l e l i t e that had engineered the formation of the NPA. The four conservative Non-Partisan Association candidates for c i t y council were e a s i l y elected, but the re s u l t s of the mayoralty e l e c t i o n raised d i f f i c u l t questions. Dr. Lyle Telford, an outspoken CCF MLA elected i n Vancouver 70 East, managed to squeeze i n between the s p l i t vote for George M i l l e r and Nelson Spencer and win the mayoralty. Both M i l l e r and Spencer were wealthy Conservatives and i n f l u e n t i a l members of the NPA. M i l l e r , much to the chagrin of Spencer, was en-dorsed as the NPA mayoralty candidate. Spencer came out i n favour of the City Manager plan and against the association which was, he alleged, "a self-appointed clique, directed and . . . 43 dominated by scheming p o l i t i c i a n s . " He charged these p o l i t i c i a n s with " p l o t t i n g through the Non-Partisan group to re t a i n control over the c i t y as they have done ever since I 44 came here i n 1921." According to Spencer's campaign manager, the NPA was not non-partisan: " i t i s a party working behind 45 a smoke screen to control our c i t y . " An examination of the NPA executive, of which Spencer was a member i n 1938, tends to substantiate his charges. Of the association's founding members only Rhodes and Holland were absent. Joining the executive were the wealthiest men in Vancouver: Austin Taylor, Colonel V i c t o r Spencer, W.C. Woodward, and H.L. Malkin. This group of men came from the west side of the c i t y and t h e i r names dotted the e l i t e member-ship roles of the Vancouver Club, the Terminal C i t y Club, the Jericho Country Club, the Vancouver Yacht Club, the Shaugh-46 nessy Height's Golf Club, and the l i k e . Ten were members of the C i v i c Bureau of the Board of Trade and at least as many were prominent figures i n p r o v i n c i a l Conservative and L i b e r a l 4 7 p o l i t i c s . In short, these men represented the c i t y ' s business e l i t e and the province's p o l i t i c a l e l i t e and were 71 involved i n c i v i c p o l i t i c s to protect t h e i r own int e r e s t s . Telford's v i c t o r y brought the NPA face to face with 48 what i t had hoped to avoid. Spencer's entry into the race had s p l i t the west side vote and enabled Telford to be suc-c e s s f u l . The following figures (see Table 1), apart from showing a near perfect east-west s p l i t , demonstrate how T e l -ford was able to win. TABLE 1 VANCOUVER MAYORALTY ELECTION 1938 Percent of Total Vote Received  M i l l e r Telford Spencer NPA CCF Ci t y Manager Plan 44.6 26.3 22.7 24.8 54.1 ' 14.5 WEST (Wards I,II,VIII-XII) 21,776 EAST (Wards III-VII) 20,854 Percent Breakdown of Support by Area WEST 65.2 33.7 61.7 EAST 34.7 66.3 38.3 99.9 100.0 100.0 If Spencer had not run, the great majority of his votes would have gone to M i l l e r . C l e a r l y , the NPA could not afford the luxury of a divided r i g h t i n c i v i c elections i n the face of a s o l i d bloc of support for the CCF. The association was not yet securely i n control of Ci t y H a l l . In the 1940 mayoralty e l e c t i o n , Jonathan Cornett, long-72 s t a n d i n g NPA a l d e r m a n , d e f e a t e d t h e i n c u m b e n t T e l f o r d . The c a m p a i g n was r e m a r k a b l y l i k e t h o s e i n t h e r e c e n t p a s t . T e l -f o r d , l i k e S p e n c e r b e f o r e him i n 1938, l a s h e d o u t a t t h e s o -c a l l e d ' n o n - p a r t i s a n 1 g r o u p and t h e i r c a m p a i g n f u n d s . He a c c u s e d Drew P r a t t and t h e C o n s e r v a t i v e p a r t y o f " d i r t y g o v e r n -49 ment a t C i t y H a l l , " b u t l o s t t h e e l e c t i o n w i t h o n l y 44.1 p e r c e n t o f t h e v o t e t o C o r n e t t 1 s 55.2 p e r c e n t . T e l f o r d had a c t u a l l y won i n 24 o u t o f 47 p o l l i n g d i v i s i o n s b u t o n l y on t h e e a s t s i d e and by v e r y s m a l l m a r g i n s . C o r n e t t , on t h e o t h e r hand, w h i l e w i n n i n g f e w e r p o l l s , o u t p o l l e d T e l f o r d by as much a s n i n e t o one i n S h a u g h n e s s y d i s t r i c t — t h e NPA s t r o n g h o l d . No p o l l was as f a v o u r a b l e t o Dr. T e l f o r d o r t h e CCF. The N e w s - H e r a l d p r o v i d e d V a n c o u v e r c i t i z e n s w i t h a map o f t h e c i t y d i s p l a y i n g t h e e a s t - w e s t s p l i t t h a t had d i v i d e d t h e c i t y a t e v e r y e l e c t i o n s i n c e 1936 ( s e e F i g u r e 6 ) . However, t h e n e w spaper's c l a i m s t h a t " t h e d i v i d i n g 50 l i n e b etween r i v a l s t r o n g h o l d s was o n c e a g a i n O n t a r i o S t . , " was o n l y v a l i d i n s o f a r as t h e m a y o r a l t y e l e c t i o n was c o n -c e r n e d . A s u b t l e s h i f t i n t h e v o t i n g p a t t e r n , v i r t u a l l y un-n o t i c e d by most o b s e r v e r s , had g i v e n t h e NPA s e c u r e c o n t r o l o f C i t y H a l l . P r i o r t o t h e 1940 e l e c t i o n , t h e NPA had managed t o e l e c t a l d e r m e n and d o m i n a t e c i t y c o u n c i l on t h e s t r e n g t h o f s o l i d w e s t s i d e s u p p o r t w h i c h e f f e c t i v e l y n e u t r a l i z e d t h e b l o c k o f e a s t s i d e s u p p o r t f o r t h e CCF. I n d e e d , a f t e r t h e e l e c t i o n o f G u t t e r i d g e i n 1937, no CCF a l d e r m a n was a b l e t o g a i n o f f i c e . B u t i t was a s h a k e y d o m i n a t i o n as t h e m a y o r a l t y r a c e s o f 1938 and 1940 had d e m o n s t r a t e d . By 1940 t h e NPA, "Better than words, t h i s map t e l l s the story of Alderman J.W. Cornett's-successful campaign f o r the mayorality. In black are the p o l l i n g d i v i s i o n s taken'by. the alderman, shaded are the d i s -t r i c t s i n which Mayor T e l f o r d held the margin of votes. As expected, the mayor swept the east end of the c i t y , but f a i l e d to balance the Cornett t i d e that covered v i r t u a l l y every other d i s t r i c t . " SOURCE: Vancouver News-Herald, December 12, 1940. FIGURE 6 "Cornett Gains Sweeping V i c t o r y ; T e l f o r d to Resign Post at Once" i n fact, had gained city-wide acceptance. Apart from the mayoralty e l e c t i o n , no less than 40-50 percent of every ward voted i n favour of Non-Partisan Association aldermanic candi-dates. Moreover, the NPA replaced the CCF as the dominant group i n every ward on the east side. While the r i s e i n sup-port was less pronounced i n the east than i n the west, the important point i s that NPA support rose i n a l l wards and now NPA strength came from a l l parts of the c i t y . The most obvious reason for t h i s change was the disap-pearance of strong independent candidates i n both the alder-manic and mayoralty elections. Independents received 29.8 percent of the aldermanic vote i n 1939 as compared to only 13.6 percent i n 1940. The CCF remained constant i n t h e i r support, with the r e s u l t that NPA strength increased by 15.3 percent o v e r a l l . By 1940, i t was evident that the mechanics of the at-large system favoured i d e n t i f i a b l e groups, l i k e the NPA and CCF, and made i t d i f f i c u l t for independents to gain o f f i c e . Voter turnout on the east and west sides was not a factor i n NPA success. As the following figures (see Table 2) indicate, i t remained constant throughout the 1937-1940 elections. The key to.success was money and sophisticated organization—access to L i b e r a l and Conservative voter's l i s t s — w h i c h gave the NPA the edge i n the ba t t l e with the CCF 51 to win votes away from independents. A number of other factors must have played a role i n the NPA sweep of 1940. The fact that two of the NPA alder-manic candidates and the mayoralty candidate l i v e d on the east 7 5 TABLE 2 AVERAGE PERCENTAGE VOTER TURNOUT 1936-194 0 Year Eastern Wards Western Wards 1936 46.3 48.9 1937 33.6 35.1 1938 50.1 52.5 1940 41.1 40.9 side of the c i t y may have added to NPA popularity i n these wards. The personal support of the Chairman of the Vancouver and New Westminster Trades and Labour Council, for the NPA since 1938, no doubt influenced some members to vote for 52 association nominees. The outbreak of war, an upsurge i n the economy, and reduced unemployment also contributed to the association's success. It i s probable that the p a t r i o t i c c i t i z e n r y of Vancouver under these conditions wanted stable, e f f i c i e n t , businesslike government and turned to the NPA as the exponent of these values. Yet these factors alone cannot account for the over-whelming success of the organization. In theory at least, non-partisan p o l i t i c s provided a p o s i t i v e a l t e r n a t i v e for voters which must be weighed heavily i n any consideration of NPA success. By 1940 NPA ideology had come to represent something more than a negative anti-CCF philosophy. Certain-l y , the men behind the formation of the organization were motivated by a 'red scare' and p l a i n l y understood that the association was anything but non-partisan. However, many Vancouver c i t i z e n s agreed with the NPA that the primary duty of good l o c a l government was to ensure good management. Party p o l i t i c s would only introduce corruption, divide candidates' l o y a l t i e s , and do nothing to improve the qu a l i t y of people elected. As a r e s u l t of the NPA's arguments, many members, voters, and even candidates believed that the NPA stood for basic, honest administrative e f f i c i e n c y , unassociated with p o l i t i c s or any p o l i t i c a l party. The philosophy of non-partisan p o l i t i c s had been gradually permeating Vancouver p o l i t i c s for years. I t had i t s philosophical roots i n i t s American counterparts and grew out of factors common i n the r i s e of a l l North American c i t i e s the growth and d i v e r s i f i c a t i o n of big business and the emer-gence of the board management concept. Acceptance of the at-large system, consideration of the City Manager plan and the general discussion of non-partisan ideas suggested an atmos-phere of change i n terms of modernization, rather than simply reactionary anti-socialism. Because of t h i s atmosphere the NPA was able to represent i t s e l f , at least i n theory, as much more than an a n t i - s o c i a l i s t crusade. However, i n practise, the e l e c t i o n of a majority of NPA aldermen to c i t y council had l i t t l e e f f e c t on the c i t y , except insofar as i t headed o f f the e l e c t i o n of CCF candidates The composition and character of council did not r e a l l y change over the decade. In fact, v i r t u a l l y a l l (ten out of thirteen) NPA candidates f o r alderman for the years 1 9 3 7 - 1 9 4 0 had served 77 on council before the formation of the NPA. These were not inexperienced men or unfamiliar faces that donned the neutral colours of 'non-partisanship. 1 At least seven had either held e l e c t i v e o f f i c e or were members of the p r o v i n c i a l L i b e r a l or Conservative partie s . Generally, they were over 50 years of age and the majority were businessmen l i k e t h e i r counterparts 53 f o r the e a r l i e r part of the decade. The formation of the NPA did not increase the number of businessmen on council; rather, i t s formation allowed businessmen to continue to dom-inate council a f t e r the entry of the CCF into the c i v i c arena. The percentage of businessmen on council was remarkably con-stant throughout the decade. Perhaps the only surprising c h a r a c t e r i s t i c of the NPA group was that almost one-half of 54 them l i v e d on the east side of the c i t y . The NPA was not a reform group. Without question the association was a reaction to the CCF: a defensive c o a l i t i o n of L i b e r a l s , Conservatives, and other supporters of the status quo. The group had no stated policy other than to provide Vancouver c i t i z e n s with honest, e f f i c i e n t business-l i k e government i n the midst of depression chaos,and to oppose any p o l i t i c a l party at the c i v i c l e v e l . However, i t s unstated policy was to defend the c a p i t a l i s t system and prot-ect the business interests of the c i t y which the association c l e a r l y i d e n t i f i e d with the public i n t e r e s t . From 1 9 3 7 to 1 9 4 0 there was no need to advance a more s p e c i f i c platform to the voters. The NPA could embody the community's aspirations by defending Vancouver's interests against the outside forces of V i c t o r i a and Ottawa. There was enough p a r t i s a n s h i p i n l o c a l l o y a l t y i n the 1930s f o r the NPA candidates to c l a i m to be 'non-partisan' a t the c i v i c l e v e l w h i l e they were p r o v i n c i a l l y or f e d e r a l l y a f f i l i a t e d with a p a r t y t h a t was committed to the d e f e a t of s o c i a l i s m and the CCF. 79 NOTES - CHAPTER I I I ''"The F e d e r a t i o n i s t , V a n c o u v e r , O c t o b e r 29, 1936. 2 " G r e a t e r p o t e n t i a l v o t i n g p o p u l a t i o n on e a s t s i d e o f c i t y , " r e p o r t e d t h e F e d e r a t i o n i s t , September 11, 19 36. 3 " A l d e r m a n C r i t i c a l o f P l e b i s c i t e , " Sun, September 7, 1936. 4 " A l d e r m a n K i r k Warns o f Danger o f Group V o t e i n C i t y E l e c t i o n s , " A p r i l 24, 1936, Newspaper C l i p p i n g D o c k e t A l d e r m a n K i r k and Mrs. Thomas, 1915-19, 1936-7, C i t y A r c h i v e s , V a n c o u v e r , B.C. 5 . . C i t y o f V a n c o u v e r , B o a r d o f T r a d e , S p e c i a l Committee M i n u t e s , O c t o b e r 7, 1936, Add. MSS. 300, v o l . 149, p. 78, C i t y A r c h i v e s , V a n c o u v e r , B.C. 6 I b i d . 7 C i t y o f V a n c o u v e r , B o a r d o f T r a d e , C o u n c i l M i n u t e s , September 10, 1936, Add. MSS. 300, v o l . 14, p. 20, C i t y A r c h i v e s , V a n c o u v e r , B.C. 8 I b i d . , September 10, 1936, .pp. 34-5. 9 F e d e r a t i o n i s t , December 3, 1936. 1 0 I b i d . , December 10, 1936; December 17, 1936. 1 1 T h e b y - e l e c t i o n was h e l d on M a r c h 24, 1937. 12 F e d e r a t i o n i s t , September 11, 1936; A u g u s t 19, 1937. 1 3 , ! C C F Oppose M a y o r a l P l a n , " I b i d . , September 13, 1937. 1937, 1 4 " C o u n c i l K i l l s CCF P r o p o s a l , " I b i d . , September 16, 1 5 I b i d . , J u n e 24, 1937; J u n e 30, 1937; A u g u s t 19, 1937. 'News-Herald, A u g u s t 14, 1937; See F e d e r a t i o n i s t r e b u t t a l , A u g u s t 16, 1937. 17 . . "Rap A t t a c k on C o u n c i l ' s CCF Members," F e d e r a t i o n i s t , September 16, 19 37; "Crone A t t a c k s P a r t y P o l i t i c s , " Sun, Sep-tember 17, 1937. 80 1 o "Rap Attack on Council's CCF Members," Federationist, September 16, 193 7. 19 " C i v i c Convention," Federationist, October 14, 1937 20 . . Federationist, November 11, 1937; "R.P. Pettipiece," December 6, 1937, Newspaper Clipping Docket R.P. Pettipiece, Cit y Archives, Vancouver, B.C. 2 1"R.P. Pettipiece," October 29, 1937, Newspaper C l i p -ping Docket R.P. Pettipiece, City Archives, Vancouver, B.C. 22 "Non-Partisan Association 1937," November 3, 1937, Add. MSS. 54, v o l . 13, F i l e Associations #53, C i t y Archives, Vancouver, B.C. 23 Sun, November 13, 1937; December 4, 1937; November 25, 1838. See Fern M i l l e r , "Vancouver C i v i c P o l i t i c a l Parties: Developing Model of Party System Change and S t a b i l a t i o n , " (Research paper prepared as part of Ph.D. comprehensive examin-ation) , Department of P o l i t i c a l Science, Yale University, March 1972, pp. 6013. 24 Charles G.D. Roberts and A.L. Tunnell, eds, The Canadian Who's Who 1936-37: A Handbook of Canadian Biography  of Living Characters, vol.- II (Toronto: Murry P r i n t i n g Co., 1936); Newspaper Clipping Dockets, C i t y Archives, Vancouver, B.C.; Sun B r i t i s h Columbia Directory, Vancouver: Sun Director-ies Ltd., 1934-1940. 25 Ci t y of Vancouver, Board of Trade, C i v i c Bureau Minutes, October 21, 1935-November 29,1939, Add. MSS. 300, v o l . 99, C i t y Archives, Vancouver, B.C. Brown demonstrated his fear of the CCF: i n a l e t t e r to .Pattullo. He .complained that most of the elected positions i n the Police Commission were CCF or Tory. "The CCF should not . be allowed to creep into o f f i c e s of t h i s kind," he warned the Premier. B.S. Brown to P a t t u l l o , November 5, 1937, Pa t t u l l o Papers, Add. MSS. 3, Box 67, F i l e 2, p. 2, P r o v i n c i a l Archives of B r i t i s h Columbia, V i c t o r i a , B.C. 27 "'Non-partison' Group seen as Old Line Party Combina-t i o n , " Federationist, November 18, 1937. 28„ The C i v i c E l e c t i o n , " Ibid. 29 "New City E l e c t i o n Group," Sun, November 13, 1937; "Non-Partisan Association," November 12, 1937, Add. MSS. 54, v o l . 12, F i l e Associations #53, City Archives, Vancouver, B.C 81 30 . . MacPherson, Martxn, and Ni c h o l l s , members of the Mayor's Advisory Committee i n 1935, attended the o r i g i n a l meetings of the NPA. Mayor McGeer was also i n attendance. T.S. Dixon and George M i l l e r joined the group i n the next two years. 31 Sun, December 9, 1937. 32 "Party P o l i t i c s and C i v i c A f f a i r s , " Federationist, November 18, 1937. 33 Sun, November 13, 19 37. 34 Province, November 17, 1937. 35 Sun, December 4, 1937. Ibid. 3 7 I b i d . , December 9, 1937. Ibid. 3 9West = Wards I, I I , VIII-XII; East = Wards III-VII. 40 . . . Money and strong organization were more important factors i n l a t e r campaigns. 4 1Sun, December 9, 1937. 42 Crone to Pa t t u l l o , July 12, 1938, P a t t u l l o Papers, Add. MSS. 3, Box 67, F i l e 2, pp. 16-8; Crone to Pa t t u l l o , July 14, 1938, Add. MSS. 3, Box 67, F i l e 2, p. 12, P r o v i n c i a l Archives of B r i t i s h Columbia, V i c t o r i a , B.C. 43 Sun, December 1, 1938; December 6, 1938. 4 4 I b i d . , December 1, 1938. 45 CD. Bruce was Spencer's campaign manager. Sun, December 9, 1938. 46 Recent membership r o l l s are not available. Conse-quently, only a spotty knowledge can be gained through The  Canadian Who's Who, club minutes, annual reports, and provin-c i a l newspapers. 47 C i t y of Vancouver, Board of Trade, C i v i c Bureau Minutes, October 21, 1935-November 29, 1939, Add. MSS. 300, v o l . 99; Roberts and Tunnell, eds., The Canadian Who's Who  1936-1937; Newspaper Clipping Dockets, City Archives, Vancouver, B.C. 82 48 Telford resigned from his position as a CCF MLA before the 1938 c i v i c e l e c t i o n because of a party regulation that no member could hold two public o f f i c e s . At the c i v i c l e v e l , he ran as an independent with a ' s o c i a l i s t ' platform because of a f a l l i n g out with the party. 4 9Sun, December 12, 1940. Ibid. "^'"The CCF press reported that an NPA candidate had appealed to a group of Liberals at a party meeting to vote for him because he was a L i b e r a l . The CCF estimated that the NPA spent $20,000.00 on th e i r 1937 campaign, while the CCF spent $300.00. Federationist, December 9, 1937; P o l l 36, Shaugh-nessy, always unique i n the degree of support given to the NPA, reported that 88% of i t s voters supported the NPA's aldermanic candidates while 89.5% (an unusually high figure) supported Cornett for Mayor i n 1940. 5 2Sun, December 12, 1938. 53 . Successful NPA Candidates 1937-1940 and t h e i r occupa-tions were: J.W. Cornett, Shoe Merchant; H.D. Wilson, Insur-ance Underwriter; Fred Crone, Storage Merchant; John Bennett, Estates Manager; H.L. Corey, Printer; T.H. Kirk, Manufacturer's Agent, Retired, (Laundry Store Owner); W.D. Greyel l , Lumber Merchant; H.D. DeGraves, Publisher; George M i l l e r , Manufactur-er's Agent, Retired, ( E l e c t r i c R e t a i l Business);.Charles Jones, Retired, (Brickmaker, Butcher, Insurance Salesman); G.H. Worth-ington, Drug Store Merchant, Doctor. Unsuccessful NPA candi-dates 1937-40 and th e i r occupations were: R.P. Pettipiece, Printer; Jack Price, Motorman. 54 Occupations and addresses were taken from City of Vancouver, Record of Nominations and Elections 1924-1949, RG2-Dl, C i t y Archives, Vancouver, B.C. CONCLUSION The Non-Partisan Association with l i t t l e change i n structure over the years has been remarkably successful. From 1937 to 1972, i t s candidates dominated c i v i c boards without exception. After a b r i e f period of c o n f l i c t and competition with a new c i v i c party, The Electors Action Movement, the NPA returned to power i n 1978 with a majority on council, school board and parks board. For t h i r t y - f i v e years receiving the endorsement of the NPA was tantamount to being elected. Conse-quently, for t h i r t y - f i v e years the holders of c i v i c o f f i c e have re f l e c t e d the b e l i e f s and values of the NPA. The organization has never represented a wide variety of p o l i t i c a l philosophy and has always championed business values i n government. A l -though NPA'ers have never had an o f f i c i a l commitment to any pa r t i c u l a r p o l i t i c a l philosophy and have supposedly acted i n -dependently, t h e i r record c l e a r l y demonstrates a conservative outlook with emphasis on the development of a desirable climate for the c i t y ' s business and industry. 1 Many of the b e l i e f s and c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s of the organi-zation took shape i n the NPA's formative years. From i t s inception i n 1937, the NPA has argued that c i t y council should be concerned with the larger interests of the whole c i t y , not the small-minded concerns of p a r t i c u l a r areas. For the NPA, the most important at-large a c t i v i t y of council has been the successful development of the c i t y ' s business and industry. 83 84 As a r e s u l t , business experience, u n t i l recently, has been considered one of the main prerequisites to aldermanic o f f i c e ; the Board of Trade, although i n r e a l i t y an i n t e r e s t group, has been thought to speak for the whole c i t y ; and i n t e r e s t groups, with the exception of business lobbies, have been regarded with suspicion. The preoccupation with business e f f i c i e n c y that characterized the Kidd Report i s s t i l l evident i n the philosophy of the NPA today. Moreover, the NPA since the t h i r t i e s has made a virtue out of i t s claim to be 'non-partisan. 1 By l a b e l l i n g themselves and t h e i r programs non-partisan, NPA 1ers have implied that they are a representative group of people working i n the interests of a l l Vancouverites. The at-large system has deprived natural areas l i k e neighbourhoods of a voice i n c i t y council. This factor, coupled with the non-partisan l a b e l , has i n h i b i t e d c r i t i c i s m of the NPA and disadvantaged competitors. The NPA has not had to produce a d e f i n i t e program of development for the c i t y beyond i t s o r i g i n a l 1 9 3 7 pledge of honest, adminis-t r a t i v e e f f i c i e n c y . Voters have continued to be influenced by the NPA argument that parties and p o l i t i c s should not be a part of c i v i c a f f a i r s while c l e a r l y , i n practise, they are. In fact, the key to NPA success under an at-large sys-tem has been e f f e c t i v e 'party' organization. The implementa-tio n of at-large elections i n 1 9 3 6 created the need for organi-zation at the l o c a l l e v e l . O r i g i n a l l y , the new system gave an advantage to the already organized CCF. The NPA was created i n response to the city-wide success of the CCF. Only through 85 an organized e f f o r t could L i b e r a l and Conservative p o l i t i c i a n s , l o c a l businessmen, and the c i t y ' s professionals hope to com-pete with the CCF and maintain th e i r control over Cit y H a l l . Just as the at-large system played a key role i n the group's creation, i t has been instrumental i n the NPA's long term success. City-wide elections have favoured organizations over independents and have given an advantage to the e f f i c i -ently run NPA who can afford the high cost of advertising. The NPA has consistently opposed the introduction of wards. While t h i s i s i n keeping with the NPA view of the c i t y as a whole community that should avoid geographic d i v i s i o n , there are serious p r a c t i c a l considerations for the organization. Since the t h i r t i e s , the number of NPA aldermen from the west 2 side of the c i t y has increased steadily. The -introduction of a ward system would d i r e c t l y challenge t h e i r dominance on c i t y c ouncil. This has been a well known fact to both The Ele c t o r s ' Action Movement (TEAM) and the Committee of Progressive Electors (COPE), two new c i v i c parties that emerged i n the lat e s i x t i e s to successfully challenge the one-party domin-ance of the NPA. "The majority of TEAM aldermen have been west side professionals who came to council favouring a p a r t i a l ward system, but changed t h e i r minds once i n o f f i c e . The COPE organization has emerged as the defender of the underpriviledged and east side interests and has consistently demanded a change to the ward system. With the di s i n t e g r a t i o n of TEAM i n 1980, Vancouver c i v i c p o l i t i c s has polarized around two d i s t i n c t . 86 p o l i t i c a l o r g a n i z a t i o n s , i f not ' p a r t i e s , ' COPE and the NPA. I t remains to be seen how the NPA w i l l respond to t h i s c h a l -lenge from the l e f t . 87 NOTES - CONCLUSION Paul Tennant, "Vancouver C i v i c P o l i t i c s , 1929-1980," B.C. Stud i e s 46 (Summer 1980):6-13; see Donald G u t s t e i n , Vancouver L t d . (Vancouver: Evergreen, 1975); Stan Persky, The  House (Etc.) That Jack B u i l t (Vancouver: New S t a r Books, 1980). Paul Tennant, "Vancouver C i v i c P o l i t i c s , 1929-1980," p. 2 7 . 88 SELECT BIBLIOGRAPHY PRIMARY SOURCES M a n u s c r i p t s and P u b l i c R e c o r d s : V a n c o u v e r , B.C. C i t y A r c h i v e s . B o a r d o f T r a d e . Add. MSS. 300. C i v i c B u r e a u M i n u t e s . Volume 99 ( 1 9 3 5 - 1 9 3 9 ) . V a n c o u v e r , B.C. C i t y A r c h i v e s . B o a r d o f T r a d e . Add. MSS. 300. C o u n c i l M i n u t e s . Volumes 13, 14 (1935-1937). V a n c o u v e r , B.C. C i t y A r c h i v e s . B o a r d o f T r a d e . Add. MSS. 3 00. 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