UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

The senate appointments of R. B. Bennett 1930 to 1935 McEwen, Irene H.


Research in the R. B. Bennett Papers several years ago uncovered the very serious controversy which had surrounded the appointment of Saskatchewan Senator Arthur Marcotte and led to the publication of an article entitled, "Religious and Racial Influences on a Senate Appointment, 1931." The question arose as to whether that case was an isolated one or whether there were other Senate appointments equally troublesome to Bennett during his tenure as Prime Minister of Canada from 1930 to 1935. This thesis proposes to answer that question by exploring in detail the circumstances surrounding all thirty-three of Bennett's appointments. Consideration is given to the successful, as well as many of the unsuccessful, candidates. In a perusal, this time on microfilm, of all the pertinent information on the Senate to be found in the Bennett Papers as well as a reading of the major newspapers of that day, it was found that while none of the other Senate selections generated anything like the turmoil which characterized the Marcotte appointment, each, in its own way, did cause Bennett considerable concern. The Prime Minister had some very definite guidelines in making his selections, including consideration of religion, race, geography, age and political service. Through the years he sought to adhere to them, but extenuating circumstances frequently made it impossible for him to give equal weight to them all. Whatever the criteria for each choice made, undoubtedly Bennett was deeply involved in every one of the thirty-three appointments.

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