Biography Of Louis St. Laurent

Our today topic is biography of Louis St. Laurent.We will share biography of Louis St. Laurent.Louis St. Laurent (baptized Louis-Etienne ), lawyer, professor and politician, born on 1 st February 1882 in Compton, Quebec, son of Jean-Baptiste-Moïse St. Lawrence and Mary Anne Broderick; m. 19 May 1908 Jeanne Renault, Beauceville, Quebec, and they had two sons and three daughters; deceased on July 25, 1973 in Quebec and buried in his hometown.

Nicolas Huot Saint-Laurent arrived in New France around 1660. With his family, he first lived in the Quebec region, then gradually moved west, up the St. Lawrence River and then settled Nicolet in the early nineteenth century. Huot Saint-Laurent had a little education – he was sheriff in Quebec City – but most of his descendants were illiterate farmers. Jean-Baptiste-Moïse St-Laurent, the first member of this family in 150 years to attend school, abandoned agriculture. With his father, he left Louis St. LaurentTrois-Rivières to live in Sherbrooke, in the Eastern Townships, where he started a business, then moved to the nearby village of Compton. There, he opened a general store and married Mary Anne Broderick, daughter of Irish immigrants, the village teacher. Jean-Baptiste-Moise learned English because she refused to speak French. The Broderick and St. Lawrence were two Catholic families. Mary Anne, for her part, had some contacts with Protestants, since she had been raised in a family of this religion during a part of her childhood. Louis St. Laurent was the first of their seven children.

Biography Of Louis St. Laurent

When Louis St. Laurent was born, Compton was an English-speaking community. This village, like the township of the same name, was to become mainly French at a certain time between 1901 and 1911. The residence of the St. Lawrence, next to the store, served as a social center for the village. In this federal riding dominated for a long time by Conservative John Henry Pope *John the Baptist Moses was a convinced liberal. He was a candidate in a provincial by-election in 1894. The couple’s children spoke to their father in French, but were equally at ease in English, given their maternal roots. Educated in French at the separate school of his locality, Louis-Stephen had first learned to read and write in English, was in contact with English literature throughout his childhood, and he spoke in this language without accent . He was a talented and studious student; his family was encouraged to continue his studies. He left Compton in 1896 to enter the Saint-Charles-Borromee Seminary in Sherbrooke. This was a costly project for the son of a merchant, but Louis-Stephen was encouraged by the support of Father Compton, Joseph-Eugene-edouard Choquette, who had convinced the college’s authorities to waive the usual tuition fees. At the seminary, a bilingual educational institution whose staff consisted of French and Irish priests, Louis St. Laurent distinguished himself; he acquired a certain style of writing in both French and English and took an active part in student life. Although his parents hoped to see him moving towards the priesthood, he opted for law at the end of his seminary studies in 1902. he acquired a certain style of writing in both French and English and took an active part in student life. Although his parents hoped to see him moving towards the priesthood, he opted for law at the end of his seminary studies in 1902. he acquired a certain style of writing in both French and English and took an active part in student life. Although his parents hoped to see him moving towards the priesthood, he opted for law at the end of his seminary studies in 1902.

For financial and cultural reasons, Louis St. Laurent  made his way to Laval University in Quebec City rather than entering McGill University in Montreal. At Laval University’s Faculty of Law, St. Laurent, of Liberal allegiance, studied under some of the city’s most prestigious Conservative lawyers, who formed a large part of the faculty. Despite being absent to help his father in another unsuccessful provincial election campaign in 1904, St-Laurent ranked first in his class in 1905 and won the Governor General’s medal. He was also offered the first Rhodes Scholarship at Laval University, which he declined to undertake a legal career (supposedly lucrative). St-Laurent had modest beginnings.Pelletier *where he earned $ 50 a month. He found time to woo Jeanne Louis St. LaurentRenault, the daughter of a prosperous merchant in Beauceville, whom he had met on the occasion of a party held in Quebec City in 1906. They married two years later. Since Jeanne was used to leading a comfortable life, St-Laurent had to leave Pelletier’s cabinet and her meager salary after her marriage. In early 1909, he joined forces with Antonin Galipeault, a young lawyer with a decidedly liberal political outlook. Galipeault saw as an asset the ease with which St-Laurent spoke in English. Just as importantly, St-Laurent was recognized as a hard worker and renowned for his meticulous preparations. When Galipeault was elected federal deputy in February 1909, St-Laurent assumed much of the ordinary business of the office; later, he specialized in commercial law. The Cabinet Grows – Liberal Senator Philippe-AugusteChoquette * soon counted among his associates – and in 1914, they moved into the stately offices of the Imperial Bank building on St. Pierre Street. That same year, St-Laurent joined his mentor, Louis-Philippe Pelletier, as a law professor at Laval University. In 1915, he was appointed king’s counselor (provincial) and received an honorary doctorate in law from Laval University. At that time he was earning $ 10,000 a year; despite an income that allowed him to live at ease, he would never be a rich man.

Biography Of Louis St. Laurent

The Louis St. Laurent family is growing steadily; it had five children as of 1917. In 1913, Louis St. Laurent had a 15-room house built on the most prominent artery in Québec, Grande Allee. He could easily afford this house, servants and a car (acquired in 1916); this financial prosperity was based on his reputation as a smart, consistent and reliable worker. From the 1920s, his work grew steadily; he was pleading cases before the Supreme Court of Canada. According to one of his contemporaries who is a member of the Quebec Bar, Warwick Fielding Chipman, St-Laurent “was solid, sensible, he liked courts and had personal ties with them. He radiated a human warmth despite [his concern for] the technical details and his thoroughness. ”

Louis St. Laurent interests differed from those of Galipeault, whose political career occupied him more and more. They each took their route, amicably, in 1923. From that time, the services of St. Lawrence were frequently retained by the governments of Canada and the province of Quebec, sometimes for constitutional affairs. In an important standard case he defended before the Supreme Court in 1926, he pleaded for minority rights: the demand by Jews to be represented in the Office of the Commissioners of Protestant Schools in Montreal or to create a Jewish school Louis St. Laurentnetwork separate. Representation was refused, but the provincial power to found separate schools for non-Christians was recognized. It can not be said that St-Laurent systematically took a position for the provincial or the federal government in the cases he defended, nor that he always won them. On the other hand, he was successful enough to gain access to the elite of his profession, a group of well-paid and highly paid jurists who argued before the highest court of appeal in Canada, the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council in London, in England. As the biographer Dale Cairns Thomson has pointed out, St Lawrence’s arguments and scholars were well suited to the style of the English law lords. In 1928, the members of this committee, generally lacking in compliments,

Biography Of Louis St. Laurent

Louis St. Laurent, even though he was recognized as a Liberal sympathizer, did not participate very much in partisan activities in the 1910s and 1920s. His sole presence on a platform, to support Charles Gavan Power *in the riding of Quebec-South in 1926, was not significant. However, he was not indifferent to the great political currents that swirled around him, and his nationwide reputation and interest in the country’s affairs grew rapidly. During the First World War, he played an important role in the Bonne Entente movement, which sought to reconcile the divergent perspectives of French Canadians and English Canadians, strained by conscription and the issue of bilingual schools in Ontario. . In the field of law, he was president of the Bar of the Province of Quebec in 1929 and president of the Canadian Bar Association from 1930 to 1932. Louis St. Laurent became a well-known speaker in English Canada, particularly on the theme of the national unity;Groulx * , who rejected on others – the English and the Jews – the responsibility of the injustices observed in the Quebec economy and the apparent subordination of the French Canadians in the society.

The great crisis of the 1930s deeply affected Canadian political and economic institutions. Some provinces had serious financial difficulties; only the federal government seemed to have the resources to pay for social assistance and reconstruction. In 1935, under the leadership of Richard Bedford Bennett * , the Conservatives passed various laws in the aftermath of the New Deal, including unemployment insurance and social insurance, and passed minimum wages and hours regulations. many areas that were perceived by many legal authorities to be under provincial Louis St. Laurentjurisdiction. In January 1936, the new Liberal government of William Lyon Mackenzie King *submitted this legislation to the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council for his opinion and retained Louis St. Laurent  services as counsel. The latter based his plea on Article 132 of the British North America Act, which conferred on the federal government the power necessary to apply the treaties of the Empire, in this case the part of the Treaty of Versailles, signed in 1919 concerning working conditions. It was a difficult mandate, and it was no surprise that Louis St. Laurent lost his case on the substantive issues of labor agreements and the Investment and Social Insurance Act.

Biography Of Louis St. Laurent

The economic and constitutional crisis continued, and King’s next step in 1937 was to form a royal commission of relations between the Dominion and the provinces, presided over by the Chief Justice of Ontario, Newton Wesley Rowell * . James McGregor Stewart *, Halifax, and Louis St. Laurent were appointed counsel to the commission. A great lesson, this experience showed Louis St. Laurent for the first time, the Canadian reality outside the business community in the east of the country. He had to correct his perception, based on magazine stories, that western wheat farmers spent their winter vacations in California enjoying unlimited income. In fact, Western Canada was directly impacted by the economic crisis and was a misery, with no markets for its products or ways of helping people. Louis St. Laurent saw the need to strengthen the powers of the federal government. “It seems that our constitution will have to be amended if we want the Confederation to survive,” he told a French audience in Winnipeg in January 1938. Events influenced the work of the royal commission. Before it can present its findings under the direction of its new president, JosephSirois * (Rowell had resigned for health reasons), the Second World War broke out. In 1940, the commission actually recommended amendments to the constitution, primarily to strengthen federal activity in the social security field, but Ottawa had already arrogated to itself the power to direct the federal government. war effort, subordinating the provincial authority to this preponderating cause.

King and his Quebec lieutenant, the Minister of Justice Ernest Lapointe *, tried to appease public opinion in Quebec on the thorny issue of conscription. The promise not to impose it, first made in the spring of 1939, was reiterated during the October provincial election and again during the federal election campaign of March 1940. The Quebec ministers in King’s cabinet, under Lapointe’s direction, pledged to resign if conscription was imposed, but, like everyone else, King and Lapointe underestimated the difficulties caused by the war. When Germany defeated France in June, Great Britain and her empire, including Canada, were left alone to continue the struggle. Fearing the worst, King and Lapointe resolved to impose conscription, but only for service in Louis St. LaurentCanada. Canadians sent overseas would be volunteers. When Lapointe died in November 1941, a wide breach broke out in the balanced political structure that had been carefully put in place by the Prime Minister. King consulted several prominent Quebecers, including members of his cabinet as well as Archbishop and Cardinal Jean-Marie-RodrigueVilleneuve * . King first thought of recruiting the Premier of Quebec, Liberal Adélard Godbout * , but he did not want to be in Ottawa. It was at the suggestion of Villeneuve and Pierre-Joseph-Arthur Cardin * , Minister of Transport, that King considered the candidacy of Louis St. Laurent, who had co-chaired the Victory Loan Committee earlier that year in Quebec. King knew him as a “distant and rather cold advocate” ; for its part, Louis St. Laurent knew little King.

Biography Of Louis St. Laurent

On December 4, King telephoned Louis St. Laurent, asking him to meet him in Ottawa the next day. Although he gave no reason, it was obvious. Thus, after lunch on December 5th, King proposed to St-Laurent to succeed Lapointe as Minister of Justice and Member of Parliament for Quebec East. Anticipating that Louis St. Laurent might be reluctant to leave home and earn more than $ 50,000 a year to embrace the life of minister and politician, synonymous with insecurity and meager wages, King appealed to his senses of duty. The war was a national crisis and Canada (just like King) needed someone who could “explain the Quebec point of view” to the rest of the country. St-Laurent asked for a moment of reflection to consult his relatives; His family members had mixed feelings, but most of his friends, the Cardinal and the Premier of the Province of Quebec, were positive. On December 10, he was back in Ottawa for his swearing-in; he assumed the functions of Minister of Justice. Shortly thereafter, the Quebec East Liberals adopted him as a candidate for a by-election scheduled for February 9, 1942.

Louis St. Laurent arrived at the cabinet when, as the war spread, the United States came into play, prompting King to adopt a total war policy, which would include conscription not only for service in Canada but also for missions overseas. The promise made by the government in 1939-40 was the main problem. The Prime Minister and his cabinet reflected on this issue during the Christmas period, and in January 1942 they agreed on a solution. There would be a plebiscite in April asking voters to release the government from its commitment. Louis St. Laurent was cooperative; he had made no promise and he would not be bound by commitments made by others. He adopted this Louis St. Laurentposition in the by-election, which opposed him to a nationalist candidate, and was elected. The plebiscite was another matter. Outside the province of Quebec, the electorate supported King. On the other hand, in that province, voters overwhelmingly opposed the government. Later, in May, while King was preparing to pass a bill in Parliament to repeal the statutory provision making conscription non-mandatory (Bill 80), Pierre-Joseph Arthur Cardin left the cabinet.

Biography Of Louis St. Laurent

The departure of Cardin confirmed the place of Louis St. Laurent as a leading minister in Quebec. He had already succeeded Lapointe in the war committee of the cabinet, becoming the voice of Quebec in the upper echelons of decision intervening in this conflict. Louis St. Laurent effectively defended the government’s policy of conscription in the House of Commons on June 16, refuting allegations by Quebec nationalists that Canada was at war simply to serve the British Empire. The dominion served his own interests, not those of Britain, and he enjoined English Canadians to welcome French Canadians “as full partners and full citizens.” King warmly grasped St-Laurent’s hand at the end of his speech and noted in his diary that it was an event of great symbolic value. With the adoption of Bill 80 in July, the problem of conscription was defused. Conscription for overseas service was now legally possible, but recourse to this measure would not be necessary as long as there was no shortage of soldiers. As the Canadian army is present in England, waiting for a possible invasion of the European continent, that day would not come at this time. King and his colleagues were eagerly waiting for this moment to come. Conscription for overseas service was now legally possible, but recourse to this measure would not be necessary as long as there was no shortage of soldiers. As the Canadian army is present in England, waiting for a possible invasion of the European continent, that day would not come at this time. King and his colleagues were eagerly waiting for this moment to come. Conscription for overseas service was now legally possible, but recourse to this measure would not be necessary as long as there was no shortage of soldiers. As the Canadian army is present in England, waiting for a possible invasion of the European continent, that day would not come at this time. King and his colleagues were eagerly waiting for this moment to come.

In Ottawa, Louis St. Laurent was now recognized as King’s lieutenant in the province of Quebec. He made frequent speeches on the war effort and national unity ; in speeches in October, he spoke of the need for social security policies and for consolidating the level of job security made possible by war. In Quebec, the Church was divided as to the social assistance that St-Laurent proposed. The clergy associated with the right opposed his idea, but he remained indifferent to their arguments. From time to time, as prime minister, St-Laurent helped King directly; he served for a time as Acting Minister of External Affairs (a position traditionally held by the Prime Minister), during King’s visit to London in the spring of 1944. The same year, St-Laurent attended the conference at Bretton Woods, at New Hampshire, which led to the creation of the International Monetary Fund. Moreover, in April and May 1945, he participated with King in the conference at Louis St. Laurentwhich the foundation of the United Nations (UN) was laid in San Francisco. His presence meant that Quebec interests were represented, but St-Laurent also saw in these occasions the affirmation of a broader national interest, which went beyond regional or linguistic considerations. In those two years he also served as Minister of Justice; in particular, he appointed judges and advised his colleagues on the constitutionality of the proposed legislative measures. but St-Laurent also saw in these occasions the affirmation of a larger national interest, which went beyond regional or linguistic considerations. In those two years he also served as Minister of Justice; in particular, he appointed judges and advised his colleagues on the constitutionality of the proposed legislative measures. but St-Laurent also saw in these occasions the affirmation of a larger national interest, which went beyond regional or linguistic considerations. In those two years he also served as Minister of Justice; in particular, he appointed judges and advised his colleagues on the constitutionality of the proposed legislative measures.

Biography Of Louis St. Laurent

St-Laurent had a broad conception of the federal spending power and considered that programs such as family allowances could be justified; the law governing these benefits was issued by his ministry in 1944. In March 1945 he supported a major program of economic reconstruction and the introduction of more social welfare measures, including federal and provincial costs related to old age pensions, hospital insurance and health insurance, as well as federal coverage of the unemployed. He ignored warnings that these proposals would “provoke acrimonious conflicts with the provinces”; however, it is because of revenue sharing disputes that the program would fail. Differences of opinion should not prevent his colleagues from supporting a good policy, argued the Minister of Justice. “An acrimonious conflict with [the province of] Quebec was inevitable anyway,” he said, and he did not believe that citizens would automatically support the provinces against Ottawa. According to his reasoning, Canadians rallied to provincial programs because they “were constantly reminded of the services rendered by the provincial governments and tended to view the central government as an entity that imposes burdens such as taxes and conscription” . Healthy federal initiatives, such as family allowances, would rectify or even reverse this situation. “An acrimonious conflict with [the province of] Quebec was inevitable anyway,” he said, and he did not believe that citizens would automatically support the provinces against Ottawa. According to his reasoning, Canadians rallied to provincial programs because they “were constantly reminded of the services rendered by the provincial governments and tended to view the central government as an entity that imposes burdens such as taxes and conscription” . Healthy federal initiatives, such as family allowances, would rectify or even reverse this situation. “An acrimonious conflict with [the province of] Quebec was inevitable anyway,” he said, and he did not believe that citizens would automatically support the provinces against Ottawa. According to his reasoning, Canadians rallied to provincial programs because they “were constantly reminded of the services rendered by the provincial governments and tended to view the central government as an entity that imposes burdens such as taxes and conscription” . Healthy federal initiatives, such as family allowances, would rectify or even reverse this situation. and he did not believe that citizens would automatically support the provinces against Ottawa. According to his reasoning, Canadians rallied to provincial programs because they “were constantly reminded of the services rendered by the provincial governments and tended to view the central government as an entity that imposes burdens such as taxes and conscription” . Healthy federal initiatives, such as family allowances, would rectify or even reverse this situation. and he did not believe that citizens would automatically support the provinces against Ottawa. According to his reasoning, Canadians rallied to provincial programs because they “were constantly reminded of the services rendered by the provincial governments and tended to view the central government as an entity that imposes burdens such as taxes and conscription” . Healthy federal initiatives, such as family allowances, would rectify or even reverse this situation. Canadians rallied to provincial programs because they “were constantly reminded of the services provided by provincial governments and tended to view the central government as an entity that imposes burdens such as taxes and conscription.” Healthy federal initiatives, such as family allowances, would rectify or even reverse this situation. Canadians rallied to provincial programs because they “were constantly reminded of the services provided by provincial governments and tended to view the central government as an entity that imposes burdens such as taxes and conscription.” Healthy federal initiatives, such as family allowances, would rectify or even reverse this situation.

However, the main issue facing the government in 1944-1945 was conscription, not social assistance. Because of the heavy losses suffered during the Normandy landings on June 6, 1944, and afterwards, the military was decimated. In October, the Minister of National Defense, James Louis St. LaurentLayton Ralston *told the prime minister that it was necessary to send conscripts on the spot. King maneuvered to gain the support of colleagues who, he knew, were deeply divided on this issue. At each stage, he turned to St-Laurent, keeping him informed and consolidating his support. Satisfied with the policy adopted in July 1942, St-Laurent did not see the need to resort to conscription since the end of the war seemed imminent and no other means of obtaining reinforcement had been attempted. . Still, he saw King’s policy with a good eye. Realizing that the prime minister had done everything possible to avoid offending Quebeckers, the Minister of Justice changed his position: whereas, on October 30, he declared that he could “absolutely not support the conscription”, a month later he resigned himself to accepting this measure. St-Laurent’s attitude was crucial for King no other Quebec minister had so much prestige and power. Finally, the conscripts arrived in Europe early in 1945.

Biography Of Louis St. Laurent

The government had overcome the conscription crisis, but its political future was very uncertain. An election was to be held in 1945, and King’s Liberals were besieged by various groups: Quebec nationalists, conscriptionists from Ontario, and socialists from the Prairies. Luck, more than anything else, favored the Liberals. The fighting stopped in Europe in May 1945, a month before the election. To mark the occasion, King and St-Laurent gave a speech on the radio in English and French; the choice of St-Laurent as an oratorical partner underlined its preponderance among Quebec ministers. The Liberals won the election, but by a small margin.Duplessis * . The election was, in a sense, the last great moment in King’s career. When he was 70, he understood that it was time to think of a successor.

Fortunately, there was one within his reach. However, when St-Laurent decided to run for election, he surprised several. His decision was perhaps motivated by the timing of the campaign, before the real end of the war, or by the feeling that national unity, a fragile jewel, required his continued attention. There were also problems with politics, not least the federal-provincial relations left unresolved by the war. In the summer of 1945 St-Laurent participated with Finance Minister James Lorimer Ilsley * and Minister of Reconstruction Clarence Decatur Howe *, at a federal-provincial conference on reconstruction. The federal government proposed nothing less than the redistribution of responsibilities, with Ottawa taking the helm of the comprehensive social Louis St. Laurentassistance plan that St-Laurent had supported the previous spring. Duplessis and Ontario Premier George Alexander Drew objected and their objections prevailed. Duplessis portrayed this episode as an aggressive coup by Ottawa, but he could not attach a strictly ethnic connotation to it, given St-Laurent’s pre-eminent presence in the federal delegation.

The King government also had ambitious foreign affairs plans and St-Laurent also played a crucial role in this area. In the government it was believed that trade had to be restored to what it was before the war. A trade surplus with Britain had usually helped pay the trade deficit with the United States, but the war had wiped out British trade and it would take time for exports to recover. To help Britain resume its role as a buyer of Canadian wheat, apples and cheeses, Canada proposed a loan of $ 1.25 billion (about one-tenth of Canada’s annual gross national product) spread over one year. number of years. This advance was to be parallel to a $ 3.75 billion loan from the United States, whose terms and conditions had served as a model for the Canadian loan. In the eyes of the Quebec nationalists, this was additional evidence of Canada’s unacceptable subordination to the Empire. It became essential for the political credibility of the government that St-Laurent accept the merits, or even the necessity, of this loan. The government’s economists had to work hard to convince him that it was in Canada’s interest, not only in Britain’s interest, but once convinced, St-Laurent decided to defend the loan in Parliament. in April 1946 and in Quebec, despite virulent insults on the part of the nationalists, some of whom were in principle liberals. this was additional evidence of Canada’s unacceptable subordination to the Empire. It became essential for the political credibility of the government that St-Laurent accept the merits, or even the necessity, of this loan. The government’s economists had to work hard to convince him that it was in Canada’s interest, not only in Britain’s interest, but once convinced, St-Laurent decided to defend the loan in Parliament. in April 1946 and in Quebec, despite virulent insults on the part of the nationalists, some of whom were in principle liberals. this was additional evidence of Canada’s unacceptable subordination to the Empire. It became essential for the political credibility of the government that St-Laurent accept the merits, or even the necessity, of this loan. The government’s economists had to work hard to convince him that it was in Canada’s interest, not only in Britain’s interest, but once convinced, St-Laurent decided to defend the loan in Parliament. in April 1946 and in Quebec, despite virulent insults on the part of the nationalists, some of whom were in principle liberals. even the need for this loan. The government’s economists had to work hard to convince him that it was in Canada’s interest, not only in Britain’s interest, but once convinced, St-Laurent decided to defend the loan in Parliament. in April 1946 and in Quebec, despite virulent insults on the part of the nationalists, some of whom were in principle liberals. even the need for this loan. The government’s economists had to work hard to convince him that it was in Canada’s interest, not only in Britain’s interest, but once convinced, St-Laurent decided to defend the loan in Parliament. in April 1946 and in Quebec, despite virulent insults on the part of the nationalists, some of whom were in principle liberals.

Biography Of Louis St. Laurent

St-Laurent was at a turning point in his career. When King returned exhausted from a trip to Europe in August, St-Laurent, then interim prime minister, met him in Montreal. King takes the opportunity to address the issue of his estate. St-Laurent was the logical choice as chief and future prime minister, and King asked him to accept this possibility. He hesitated. Minister’s life drained his savings. The affairs of his law firm had diminished and his sons, even though they were graduate lawyers, were too inexperienced to take over. However, he finally accepted King’s proposal and there was a change of assignment immediately. King broke with tradition and split the roles of Secretary of State for External Affairs and Prime Minister. St-Laurent became Minister of External Affairs on September 4, 1946, during a major cabinet reshuffle. He did not consider this appointment definitive. He still saw a chance to return to private life, at least that’s what he said to his colleagues, but these, particularly Howe, began to envision a longer-term future for him; it was obvious that King’s departure could not be pushed back further. The same day, King made another important gesture: he appointed a new Under Secretary for External Affairs, Lester Bowles at least that’s what he said to his colleagues, but these, especially Howe, began to envision a longer-term future for him; it was obvious that King’s departure could not be pushed back further. The same day, King made another important gesture: he appointed a new Under Secretary for External Affairs, Lester Bowles at least that’s what he said to his colleagues, but these, especially Howe, began to envision a longer-term future for him; it was obvious that King’s departure could not be pushed back further. The same day, King made another important gesture: he appointed a new Under Secretary for External Affairs, Lester BowlesPearson , former Canadian Ambassador to Washington. It was the beginning of a long and fruitful collaboration.

St-Laurent was aware of the uncertainties on the international scene. The Soviet Union, the world’s nucleus of communism, was expanding its influence in Eastern Europe, already occupied by the Red Army. Soviet policies particularly alarmed the British, who communicated their fears to King during his many visits to London. King did not need much insisting: a spy ring had been unearthed in Ottawa in September 1945, when a defector, Igor Sergeievich Gouzenko, unexpectedly showed up at the St. Laurent office. As Minister of Justice, he was kept informed of the ensuing police investigation and the revelations of the Royal Commission on Espionage. It was not necessary to Louis St. Laurentexplain to him that the Soviet Union symbolized a conflict of ideologies that transcended national boundaries. Yet, External Affairs was still a thorny issue in Canada because of what was perceived as differences of opinion on the issue between English Canadians and French Canadians – it was assumed that the latter were disengaged and isolationist – and the idea of the resurgence of a major obstacle in relations with French Canadians barely a year after the war challenged the King government. Certainly, the latter had measured the risk when he had entrusted this portfolio to a French Canadian. External Affairs was still a thorny issue in Canada because of what was perceived as differences of opinion on the issue between English Canadians and French Canadians – it was assumed that the latter were disengaged and isolationist – and the idea of ​​seeing a resurgence a major obstacle in relations with French Canadians barely a year after the war challenged the King government. Certainly, the latter had measured the risk when he had entrusted this portfolio to a French Canadian. External Affairs was still a thorny issue in Canada because of what was perceived as differences of opinion on the issue between English Canadians and French Canadians – it was assumed that the latter were disengaged and isolationist – and the idea of ​​seeing a resurgence a major obstacle in relations with French Canadians barely a year after the war challenged the King government. Certainly, the latter had measured the risk when he had entrusted this portfolio to a French Canadian.

The Department of External Affairs drew its resources from the Canadian intellectual elite. Most of the public servants had received their training abroad and efforts were being made to recruit French Canadians as well as English Canadians. One would think that St-Laurent, who had traveled little before mid-life, and the fine people in the foreign service were a curious mixture, but that was not the case. The diplomatic staff appreciated his logic, quickness of mind and ability to concentrate. These people valued him even more because they had endured King’s fussy side. St-Laurent was the exact opposite: courteous and easy to inform, he relied on the staff to make clear recommendations that he studied on the spot, then accepted or rejected. Unlike King, he was approachable and showed up regularly at his office. Better yet, as explained by top diplomat Escott MeredithReid * , St-Laurent came to the rescue of his staff in difficult situations. “I knew, Reid wrote, that he was a man who deserved loyalty because he was [himself] loyal. In a cabinet of powerful ministers, St-Laurent stood out for his outstanding managerial skills.

Biography Of Louis St. Laurent

The two most important issues that occupied St-Laurent were the clash with the Soviet Union – what was beginning to be called the Cold War – and the proposal for a union with the British colony of Newfoundland. With regard to the evolution of the cold war, there was little to do: Canada could do nothing and, one way or another, the Canadians took the Western party without hesitation. It would have been impossible to do otherwise. With respect to Newfoundland, however, there was a choice. This colony remained apart from the Confederacy in 1867 [V. Sir Ambrose Shea * ] and had refused that notion ever since. But the history of this island as an autonomous entity had turned out to be uneven and as early as 1946 some Newfoundlanders, including Joseph RobertsSmallwood *were willing to consider the question again. St-Laurent found the idea of ​​Louis St. Laurentperfecting the Confederation very attractive and he quickly became the strongest advocate of this idea among the members of King’s cabinet. It did not take into account the objections of the Quebec government, which had land claims against Newfoundland and demanded a veto on the reception of a new province. Once again, St-Laurent made a strong advocacy for national power, arguing that the federal government represented all Canadians. He led negotiations with Newfoundland in the summer of 1947, and again in the fall of 1948. Discussions were going to bear fruit: March 31, 1949,

In 1947, St-Laurent’s main responsibilities lay outside the country; he had to explain the world to Canadians and Canada to the rest of the world. A large part of this task was already accomplished. The experience of the war and the analysis of what had led to it in the 1930s had convinced many that the country could not take refuge in the isolation and comfort of its geographical location. St-Laurent was looking for an opportunity to define Canada’s foreign policy. He took advantage of the invitation to deliver the first of a series of lectures at the University of Toronto in January 1947 (the first Gray Lecture); it was probably his most remarkable speech. It had been written by one of his officials, Robert Gerald Riddell, a former teacher at this university, who knew what a Toronto audience was waiting for. But there was no doubt that St-Laurent fully subscribed to the ideas expressed in the speech, which served to define the foundations of Canadian foreign policy for the next generation. Not surprisingly, he placed national unity at the top of the principles that should underpin this policy. A disunited Canada would be powerless, he reminded the audience. The quest for national unity did not mean that Canadians had to avoid the subject of foreign policy on the pretext that it was too dangerous and contentious. Canadians agreed on other principles – political freedom, Christian values ​​and “acceptance of international responsibility” – and these principles, he argued, legitimizing Canada’s active role in international affairs. He advocated a form of agreement with Great Britain, the United States and France as well as adherence to “any international organization contributing to the economic and political stability of the world”. From St. Laurent’s point of view, foreign policy had to rally Canadians, not divide them.

Biography Of Louis St. Laurent

In 1947 and afterwards, St. Lawrence repeatedly emphasized the chasm that ideologically separated Canada (and the West in general) from totalitarian communism. Like other ministers and most of his diplomatic staff, he did not believe that the Soviet Union was seeking war, but it was true that the economic and social unrest overseas was playing into his cause. More than any other factor, it is the political uncertainty that undermined the democracies of Western Europe. St-Laurent saw the need to strengthen international security and acknowledged that the United Nations was not succeeding in this task. In his speeches and in cabinet, he worked to promote the idea of ​​an organization bringing together Western and Atlantic countries to join the United Nations.

Canada’s response to another heated issue of ideologies, that of Korea, was complicated by King’s continued interest in the conduct of his former department. In December 1947, St-Laurent supported United States sponsored attempts by the United States to establish a stable regime in South Korea through elections and recommended that the Cabinet delegate a Canadian to the committee of the United States. UN trained to study the issue. However, the appointment had already been approved by James Lorimer Ilsley, then Minister of Justice and Acting Head of the Canadian Delegation to the UN in New York, and neither St-Laurent nor his staff saw any reason to object to it. This minor incident provoked a disproportionate reaction from the prime minister, which Louis St. Laurentfeared that the United Nations assistance in a thorny international situation might trigger a third world war. King demanded that St-Laurent cancel the appointment. The latter, who felt that he would have dropped his staff and a fellow minister, refused. It was only when King realized that the successor he had appointed and half of the members of his cabinet were in danger of resigning that he backed down. The incident “marked a major turning point in the political life of King and St-Laurent,” according to journalist William Bruce It was only when King realized that the successor he had appointed and half of the members of his cabinet were in danger of resigning that he pulled back. The incident “marked a major turning point in the political life of King and St-Laurent,” according to journalist William Bruce It was only when King realized that the successor he had appointed and half of the members of his cabinet were in danger of resigning that he backed down. The incident “marked a major turning point in the political life of King and St-Laurent,” according to journalist William BruceHutchison * .

Clearly, it was time for King to give way, but he still had a job to do: to ensure that St-Laurent did take over. King decided to hold a Liberal convention on August 7, 1948. St-Laurent was nominated along with three other people : Charles Gavan Power, Agriculture Minister James Garfield Gardiner *, and the Minister of National Health and Safety. Social welfare Paul Joseph James Martin * . To illustrate how derisory the opposition was, King had half of the cabinet members listed as candidates, and at the time of the call, each minister duly withdrew, indicating that a better candidate – St-Laurent – Providentially offered himself to the party. In the backstage, Howe managed the organization needed to support St-Laurent. Martin retired too; Power and Gardiner were defeated by an overwhelming majority. St-Laurent had to wait a few months before becoming prime minister. On November 15, King finally resigned and left office. In the meantime, St-Laurent served as Minister of Justice, allowing Pearson to become Secretary of State for External Affairs.

Biography Of Louis St. Laurent

St-Laurent was already a well-known figure throughout the country, and his cabinet was almost no different from King’s. As Prime Minister, however, he was very different from his predecessor, but it was mostly understood in Ottawa. St-Laurent ran the office in his own way. Under his leadership, the ministers each had individual responsibility and he did not interfere in their affairs unless a file went beyond the limits of a ministry or a higher political authority proved indispensable. However, he shared with King his dislike of traveling abroad, believing that a prime minister could hardly afford to leave his country. He entrusted most of the trips to Pearson or Martin, often delegates to the UN. St-Laurent spent most of his time in Ottawa or at his vacation home, purchased in 1950 and located on the St. Lawrence River in Saint-Patrice, Quebec. He reluctantly consented to the acquisition in 1951 of an official residence for the prime minister at 24 Sussex Drive in Ottawa, but insisted on paying rent. It was then that Jeanne St-Laurent left the family home in Quebec City to settle in Ottawa. In her role as Prime Minister, she was not a prominent figure. She accompanied her husband on her travels, but refused to fly and, according to her biographer, she never quite accepted the idea of ​​living in Ottawa. He reluctantly consented to the acquisition in 1951 of an official residence for the prime minister at 24 Sussex Drive in Ottawa, but insisted on paying rent. It was then that Jeanne St-Laurent left the family home in Quebec City to settle in Ottawa. In her role as Prime Minister, she was not a prominent figure. She accompanied her husband on her travels, Louis St. Laurentbut refused to fly and, according to her biographer, she never quite accepted the idea of ​​living in Ottawa. He reluctantly consented to the acquisition in 1951 of an official residence for the prime minister at 24 Sussex Drive in Ottawa, but insisted on paying rent. It was then that Jeanne St-Laurent left the family home in Quebec City to settle in Ottawa. In her role as Prime Minister, she was not a prominent figure. She accompanied her husband on her travels, but refused to fly and, according to her biographer, she never quite accepted the idea of ​​living in Ottawa.

One of St-Laurent’s duties necessarily brought him to travel. In fact, as leader of the party, he had to appear in all regions of the country during election campaigns. Following his election to the position of prime minister in November, an election was scheduled for 1949. The Progressive Conservatives, who formed the official opposition, were led by a new leader, former Ontario premier George Alexander Drew. . He was handsome and energetic and promised a change from the Liberals who, he said, had tainted the federal bureaucracy with a network of red influence. However, what mattered more to the general public than the threat of communism, a problem taken over by the North Atlantic Treaty Organization and vigorous diplomacy, it was Canada’s strong prosperity. The gross national product had increased substantially, unemployment had almost reached the floor observed in wartime, and $ 634 million had been paid in 1948 for veterans’ benefits, health services, family allowances, and pensions. old age. During a tour of the West in April 1949, St-Laurent recognized this prosperity, in an undeniable way and with a lot of sincerity. Although he had the temper of a reserved and rather rigid corporate lawyer (his secretary and later his biographer, Dale Cairns Thomson, spoke of his lack of interest in “light talk and humorous exchanges”) he looked kindly, He looked like a grandfather, reinforced by his impeccable dress and white mustache. During the campaign, a reporter nicknamed him “Uncle Louis” and this name remained him. On June 27, the favorite uncle of all led the Liberals to victory, with the most marked majority since Confederation for this party : 193 of the 262 seats in the Commons and almost 50% of the votes cast.

Government policy can be summed up as “managing prosperity” with regular budget surpluses and modest improvements to social assistance programs. The provinces had blocked any move to create a welfare state and St-Laurent had no intention of continuing in this direction for the time being. (His government was going to introduce the universal old-age pension system in 1951.) Foreign investment, mainly from the United States, was driving the economy while exports were stalling. In a weak currency context, there were many barriers to trade to overcome, but Canada did not take the lead in this area. Under the authority of St-Laurent and Howe, Minister of Commerce since 1948, tariffs had remained high.

Biography Of Louis St. Laurent

As Prime Minister, St-Laurent continued to have exceptional relationships, not only with members of his cabinet, but also with senior officials. Before going to cabinet meetings, he prepared himself carefully by reading each file and consulting with the Clerk of the Privy Council and Secretary to the Cabinet. “I did my best to prepare myself,” one of the clerks, Robert Broughton Bryce, later said, but almost invariably the Prime Minister thought of things I had not considered. Using the same basic and conscientious work methods that had been used in his legal profession, St-Laurent took the initiative in the discussions, presented the documents, setting out “the pros and cons for each point in the agenda,Sharp * , who, as a senior civil servant, sometimes observed from behind the scenes. “Since St-Laurent hated wasting time,” said another Clerk of the Privy Council, John Whitney Pickersgill *the cabinet meetings were held as business meetings. Another clerk wrote with admiration that St-Laurent “brought his colleagues to a consensus with assurance and discernment”. Some ministers enjoyed preferential treatment, but in the context of a meeting, all were entitled to the same consideration. The senior ministers were St-Laurent, Howe and the Minister of Agriculture, James Garfield Gardiner. The latter was of the opinion that St-Laurent did not fully understand the problems of the West, but he was loyal, he did his job and rarely interfered in the affairs of others, which was not the case. the case of Howe. Other influential ministers included Brooke Claxton * at National Health and Welfare, the charming Douglas CharlesAbbott * as well as Walter Edward Harris * , intelligent though distant, to Finance. St-Laurent relied entirely Louis St. Laurenton Pearson for External Affairs and this trust was mutual. On the other hand, Pickersgill reminded us, “some ministers were frozen in fear of being misinformed or ineffective.” It was fortunate for St-Laurent that his main English-speaking colleague, Howe, did not aspire to become a chef. St-Laurent admired the latter’s decision-making spirit and determination, and felt that his services to Canada remained unmatched. In 1951, he considered for a moment to appoint him governor general ; this function was traditionally occupied by British aristocrats and politicians, but St-Laurent, who was still an enthusiastic nationalist, felt Howe had “deserved” this post. In fact, because of his lack of tact, Howe was not a wise choice. The following year, St-Laurent chose Charles Vincent Massey * , a wealthy Torontonian from the diplomatic community.

St-Laurent had a professional interest in the Canadian constitution and it was to be expected that he would try to rectify certain shortcomings. The constitution, which governed federal-provincial jurisdiction, could only be amended by the British Parliament under the Westminster Statute of 1931. In the September 1949 throne speech, despite the opposition that demanded First, the consent of the provinces, St-Laurent announced the abolition of appeals to the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council. It was useless to seek the opinion of the Quebec government, he had said in the Commons, because Duplessis would oppose without reason. At the same time, he announced that he would seek to amend the British North America Act so that the Canadian Parliament could change the constitution, only with respect to federal jurisdiction. Thus, he convened a federal-provincial conference in January 1950 to seek a way to amend the constitution, a project that had been caressed by Justice Minister Ernest Lapointe, but which failed in 1927. These bold steps reflected a point of view clear and uncompromising. Yet it was not necessary to amend the constitution to achieve practical changes in the balance of power between Ottawa and the provinces. The war had concentrated revenue and expenditures in Ottawa, and post-war programs for veterans, for example, had perpetuated this situation. By 1947, most provinces had begun to “rent” their tax revenues to Ottawa for compensation; This was a complex exchange that led to the signing of equalization payments agreements between the provinces from 1947 to 1951 for lack of funds. These agreements would be renewed and amended in 1952. The Ontario government, which, under Drew, had abstained from leasing the tax areas, joined the program under St-Laurent and Prime Minister Leslie MiscampbellFrost .

Biography Of Louis St. Laurent

Starting in 1950, Ottawa had even more reasons to spend, and to spend heavily. The first stage of the cold war had been of a diplomatic and political nature, focused more on trust than on armaments. In June 1950, the war became a hot topic when North Korea, of communist allegiance, invaded South Korea, which was anti-communist. It was the reaction of the United States that mattered most. President Harry S. Truman surprised the Canadian government – and much of his own government – by intervening in Korea and seeking UN approval of its actions. The Government of Canada, led by St-Laurent and Pearson, welcomed Truman’s initiative. Shortly after, St-Laurent promised Canada’s support, including military support for UN troops in Korea, and announced that three Canadian destroyers would join the forces deployed in the Far East. He made it clear that the authority of the United Nations was a prerequisite for Canada’s participation, but that being said, the cabinet had to decide on the scale of military aid and measure the impact on national unity. In Quebec, the nationalists compared St-Laurent’s collaboration with the United States to the old enslavement of Canada to the British Empire. St-Laurent did not pay attention to this reaction. The cabinet swept away the fears of conscription and authorized the expansion of the armed forces, sending an expeditionary force to Korea, the installation of a permanent garrison in Europe and the granting of $ 5 billion to a rearmament program. To launch this program, the government created the Department of Defense Production in 1951, which it entrusted to Howe. The latter had the reputation of being authoritarian; he found himself in the hot water during the Louis St. Laurentparliamentary debates surrounding the creation of the ministry and had to be rescued by the prime minister, who came to calm the tumult.

The program was a success. The size of the military apparatus increased substantially, but otherwise the war had little impact on the lives of Canadians. Relations with the United States (at the head of the alliance in Korea and Europe) remained bright. The US government, under Democratic and Republican presidents, seemed to find Canada’s contribution adequate. St-Laurent, for his part, admitted that the leadership of the Americans was desirable and, in any case, inevitable. In a speech to an American audience in 1949, he declared “There is only one nation that has the wealth, the energy, the knowledge and the skills to give real leadership, and that nation is the United States. He limited his contacts with the presidents to bilateral issues and refrained from anything that might look like advice on global strategy. Present reluctantly at the 1956 Canada-US-Mexico summit in White Sulfur Springs, West Virginia, the premier viewed the event as a futile protocolary photo opportunity.

Canada-British relations were also good. The British government, which appreciated Canada’s financial support and found that the latter’s position on international issues was close to its own, was no longer trying to cover Canadian policies with its imperial mantle. Britain was too weak to take a lot of initiative, preferring to follow the United States in most cases and enjoy the enviable position of this country’s main ally. Although St-Laurent was a Canadian nationalist, he was also traditionalist ; it was with joy that he welcomed Princess Elizabeth in the fall of 1951 and led a Canadian delegation to her coronation in June 1953. Upon returning home, he led the Liberals to a triumphal re-election in August.

Biography Of Louis St. Laurent

St-Laurent was then 71 years old. He began to wonder if it might not be time to leave office. There were still issues to be completed and a world tour, the first ever by a prime minister of Canada, was challenging him. At the end of 1953, he approached the question with Howe. According to him, they had agreed to leave their post after a year or two, but “unfortunately, [the] chief changed his mind about his retirement, which was a mistake for him as for the party.” Nothing seemed to indicate that St-Laurent had to withdraw. He began his journey around the world in January 1954 and did not fail to visit the Prime Minister of India, Jawaharlal Nehru, with whom he had special ties. Even if India, from the point of view of Canadian politics was seen as an important link between East and West and between the developed countries of the North and the underdeveloped countries of the South, St-Laurent did not conceal Canada’s position in the Cold War, an attitude that displeased some of its Indian hosts. His visit, destined to establish a rapprochement, did not perhaps give the desired results, but he did not perceive it. In March, St-Laurent triumphantly returned to Ottawa, under the snow, and resumed the conduct of business. may not have the desired results, but he did not perceive it. In March, St-Laurent triumphantly returned to Ottawa, under the snow, and resumed the conduct of business. may not have the desired results, but he did not perceive it. In March, St-Laurent triumphantly returned to Ottawa, under the snow, and resumed the conduct of business.

Things were not quite as before. The cabinet members found St-Laurent changed: it showed signs of fatigue and, worse, indifference. During the debates in the Commons, he sat silent, coming out of his torpor when he wanted to intervene. In the office, he sometimes stared out the window and the meetings were drifting away. Alarmed, Howe asked one of the St-Laurent girls in April 1954 to take the latter on a vacation to Bermuda, which she did. If there was an improvement, it was temporary. The agreement reached between the inefficient Prime Minister and Duplessis in Louis St. LaurentOctober over taxes turned quickly to the advantage of the province of Quebec and the Liberals of that province felt abandoned. Two years later, At a meeting with the President of the United States, Dwight David Eisenhower, St-Laurent, silent and withdrawn, offered an “almost pathetic spectacle,” noted Canadian Ambassador Arnold Danford Patrick Heeney in his diary. There is almost no doubt that St. Laurent was suffering from a form of depression. It is difficult to find the cause, but he was overwhelmed by many concerns, especially of a personal nature. One of her daughters was in trouble, family finances were precarious, and expenses ran the risk of exceeding incomes. The law firm had not prospered under the direction of his sons. St-Laurent could not decide what to do, and the problems, postponed, were getting worse. noted Canadian Ambassador Arnold Danford Patrick Heeney in his diary. There is almost no doubt that St. Laurent was suffering from a form of depression. It is difficult to find the cause, but he was overwhelmed by many concerns, especially of a personal nature. One of her daughters was in trouble, family finances were precarious, and expenses ran the risk of exceeding incomes. The law firm had not prospered under the direction of his sons. St-Laurent could not decide what to do, and the problems, postponed, were getting worse. noted Canadian Ambassador Arnold Danford Patrick Heeney in his diary. There is almost no doubt that St. Laurent was suffering from a form of depression. It is difficult to find the cause, but he was overwhelmed by many concerns, especially of a personal nature. One of her daughters was in trouble, family finances were precarious, and expenses ran the risk of exceeding incomes. The law firm had not prospered under the direction of his sons. St-Laurent could not decide what to do, and the problems, postponed, were getting worse. One of her daughters was in trouble, family finances were precarious, and expenses ran the risk of exceeding incomes. The law firm had not prospered under the direction of his sons. St-Laurent could not decide what to do, and the problems, postponed, were getting worse. One of her daughters was in trouble, family finances were precarious, and expenses ran the risk of exceeding incomes. The law firm had not prospered under the direction of his sons. St-Laurent could not decide what to do, and the problems, postponed, were getting worse.

Biography Of Louis St. Laurent

The events shook in 1954, which masked the personal problems of St-Laurent. The governments of Canada and the United States reached an agreement to build a canal and electrical installations, the St. Lawrence Seaway, which helped to prolong the apparently eternal prosperity of the country. On the other hand, the Seaway emphasized St. Lawrence’s alleged indifference to Western Canada, particularly with respect to the South Saskatchewan Hydropower Project, which James Garfield Gardiner had release tried to advance. On the political front, two pillars of the St-Laurent cabinet chose to leave office in June, Douglas Charles Abbott to access the Supreme Court and Brooke Claxton to go to the business world. St-Laurent was saddened by their departure, which undoubtedly harmed the efficiency of the government. This change in personnel also changed the outlook for future succession to the post of prime minister; Pearson was the only one of the firm’s influential members to remain in the running. (It was common knowledge that Gardiner and Martin also had ambitions of this nature, but their colleagues did not consider these applications seriously.) Suddenly, the cabinet took a blow of old: half of the members approached 65 years or had passed this age. Business was drifting. United States donations of wheat (as a subsidy to US farmers) were undermining Western Canadian exports,

The fact that St-Laurent was leading with more and more indifference imposed a greater burden on the various ministers, especially Howe, who was not in very good health either. Government solidarity began to wane, although this was not reflected in opinion polls. The Liberals continued to hold the lead, as they had since 1944. Public projects such as the Trans-Canada Highway, the Air Defense Early Warning System, the Canso Causeway in Nova Scotia were welcomed. and Howe was working on a project to transport natural gas from Alberta to central Canada by pipeline. This Louis St. Laurentproject would also have the effect of ensuring the security of Canada’s energy supply and improving Canada’s balance of payments, since it replaced the import of coal and natural gas from the United States. To do this, Howe had helped to create a private company, Trans-Canada Pipe Lines Limited, legally incorporated in 1951. Much of the funds and most of the technology would come from the United States, but some funding for a section through the uninhabited region of northern Ontario that offered no support market should be provided by Ottawa.

In the spring of 1956, Howe proposed legislation to provide Trans-Canada Pipe Lines Limited with the necessary federal funds. St-Laurent had no objection and let his colleague take care of the file. It was a mistake. There was a deadline to raise the funds so that the work started in the summer and all the opposition had to do was postpone the passage of the bill. However, to get it passed, the government, again with the consent of St-Laurent rather than the initiative of the latter, resorted to the unusual parliamentary measure of closure to limit the discussions. This decision was disastrous in terms of public relations. While the debate raged in the House, St-Laurent remained seated, looking distracted ; but when he finally came out of his torpor to speak, he summed up the situation, full of dignity and authority, setting out the reasons why the government was obliged to do so. The majority and the minority, he said, had rights, including the right to pass laws. The bill was accepted and the pipeline traveled west to east. The government had what it wanted, but its popularity suffered somewhat. Opinion polls continued to be favorable, and attempts by the Conservatives to call an election failed because of contradictions within their own party. In condemning the construction of the pipeline, some had rekindled the specter of too close ties between the Liberals and the Americans, which Howe embodied, Massachusetts immigrant. This should not have been important, but in the fall of 1956, the rapprochement with the United States was linked to the question of Canada’s traditional association with the British Empire, a subject on which the Prime Minister now had an explicit point of view.

Biography Of Louis St. Laurent

St-Laurent had generally enjoyed friendly relations with his British counterparts, including the once-prime minister from 1955 to 1957, Robert Anthony Eden, who was getting older. Eden tried to rationalize Britain’s foreign commitments, making them more commensurate with the country’s reduced economic resources. More particularly, he had withdrawn the imposing garrison stationed around the Suez Canal after Egypt had promised not to disturb this British property. In July 1956, however, the Egyptian government nationalized the canal. Premier Eden’s reaction to this deliberate provocation was utterly disproportionate. He immediately prepared, with France, the invasion of Egypt. The objections were rejected and, knowing that Canadians would no doubt protest, he told his staff not to inform them. Americans were also left in ignorance as much as possible. By the end of October, the British and French had organized the invasion by the Israelis, then used this incident as an excuse to proclaim that they were intervening to preserve the channel of a war. Eden sent a letter to St-Laurent asking for an understanding of Canada.

Eden had intentionally deceived St-Laurent and Pearson had to do much to calm the fury of his leader, which he shared. Pearson prepared a moderate response, placing Canada’s policy within the UN framework and refusing to support the Franco-British intervention. When St-Laurent and Pearson approached the issue in cabinet, some English-speaking ministers argued that such a position would be offensive to traditional Canadian views. At the UN, Pearson made a proposal to form a peacekeeping force that would replace British and French troops around the canal after Israel’s withdrawal. His initiative earned him compliments from around the world, but not in Canada, where the Conservatives, now led by John GeorgeDiefenbaker, a long time Louis St. LaurentSaskatchewan MP, emphasized that the government had refused to support Britain. This time St-Laurent did not remain indifferent. Refuting the Conservatives’ arguments, he told the House on November 26, 1956, that he had been scandalized by the great powers, “who have too often treated the United Nations Charter as an instrument for the regimentation of small nations. nations “. In response to the mocking opposition, which demanded why the big powers would be denied the right to veto initiatives of small nations, St. Laurent, according to an eyewitness, straightened his shoulders in a gesture of defiance turned red and retorted: “Because the days when the supermen of Europe could rule the whole world are numbered. Nothing he said was false, but since a wind of imperial patriotism nostalgic swept through some circles of English Canada, his commentary had the same effect as a red flag waving in front of a bull.
The next six months were spent simply managing the day-to-day business and preparing for an election. During a Liberal Gala held in Quebec City to celebrate the 75th anniversarySt. Lawrence’s birthday, Howe delivered an eloquent speech, in which he declared that his friend was “in the shadow of no man”. It was the last great moment of St. Lawrence, but no one planned to replace him so close to the election, scheduled for June 10, 1957. The Liberals were in the lead in the polls and St-Laurent was considered one of the the main assets of the Liberals. One of the ministers reportedly said in private that the party would run for office with St-Laurent, even if it had to be stuffed. This election was the first in Canada to be televised. St-Laurent did not really make a good impression under the eyes of this new medium. Still, polls, to the very end, indicated that voters intended to vote for the Liberals. The party had money for the campaign, but no human resources; few ministers had a real influence outside their constituency and many of the party’s pillars were dead. Worse still, in various cases, the Liberals had displeased the electorate: the sale of wheat (or rather the lack of sales), the pipeline and the Suez crisis. None of these factors, taken in isolation, would have been fatal, but their accumulation, together with a campaign that lacked inspiration and an inattentive leader, proved impossible to admit to the electorate. When he was traveling in English Canada, rowdy people shouted to him “supermen”, which not only made reference to his remark about the supermen of Europe, but also sarcastically labeled the Liberals as the supermen of Canada. On the occasion of the event that should have been the rallying Liberal rally at Maple Leaf Gardens in Toronto, St-Laurent, in his attitude and words, seemed out of touch with reality. As John Whitney Pickersgill later wrote, “It was not John Diefenbaker who won the election in 1957; it’s the Liberal party that lost it. ” The Liberals had more votes than the Conservatives, but won fewer seats than they did. Half of the cabinet members were defeated; however, St-Laurent had won in Quebec East with a strong majority. After a pause, during which the cases where the votes were closed were decided, he decided to leave office. On June 21, the cabinet resigned, Diefenbaker took power and St-Laurent took the role of Leader of the Opposition,

Biography Of Louis St. Laurent

St. Laurent spent the summer at Saint-Patrice. In August, Pickersgill visited him: “He was visibly very depressed; he was not able to get the conversation started, and obviously [he] was not interested in his new role. St. Laurent’s family then took matters into their own hands. She invited two former ministers, Lionel Chevrier and Pearson, to come to St-Laurent and try to convince him that he would not betray his party if he resigned. The family asked Pearson to write a statement of resignation; St-Laurent stared at the document and then agreed. According to Chevrier, he did so only after Pearson, whom he regarded as his logical successor, had agreed to present himself in order to replace him. St-Laurent played the role of Leader of the Opposition during the fall session. At the January 1958 Liberal convention, Pearson was appointed leader, but Diefenbaker gave him little time to adjust to his new role. Taking advantage of the Liberals’ blunders, he launched a new election, which took place on March 31, and defeated his rivals. St-Laurent, who had not shown up, returned to Quebec City and resumed the exercise of the right.

St-Laurent did not start all over again, but even if he had prestige, his age was a handicap. Nevertheless, for a few years, he practiced his profession as he had done before, trying to reconstruct the family fortune. Former colleagues came to see him from time to time. The ministers and the mandarins of Ottawa kept him alive. Except for these people, the former prime minister gradually fell into oblivion. He attended a few funerals, including those of Howe in Montreal in January 1961, and was occasionally invited to state ceremonies, such as the banquet given in honor of Charles, President of the French Republic. de Gaulle, visiting Quebec in 1967. St-Laurent’s wife died in 1966. Despite everything, in some respects the health and mood of the Louis St. Laurentformer prime minister improved after his departure from politics. He greeted the visitors with a calm air. “I’m just as bright, just as active as before,” he told Pickersgill. “And you know, Jack, I’m like that for an hour every day. The law firm’s finances recovered, allowing it to gradually withdraw and let his son Renault-Stephen take over the business. After years away from public life, Louis-Stephen St-Laurent died in July 1973. The law firm’s finances recovered, allowing it to gradually withdraw and let his son Renault-Stephen take over the business. After years away from public life, Louis-Stephen St-Laurent died in July 1973. The law firm’s finances recovered, allowing it to gradually withdraw and let his son Renault-Stephen take over the business. After years away from public life, Louis-Stephen St-Laurent died in July 1973.
St-Laurent possessed many of the characteristics that make a good Prime Minister, but few of the essential qualities of a good politician. In his most productive period, from 1948 to 1954, he presided over a cabinet of powerful ministers, many of whom were prominent politicians. His point of view usually coincided with theirs, but in case of divergence, it was the Prime Minister who prevailed. His main concern was national unity, which he saw as broad and equated with a broad federal power. At home and abroad, he was a man of action and the flourishing economy allowed him to be. More than any other prime minister after him, St-Laurent dominated his cabinet and his party. When he entered a room, Liberal MPs stood up to show respect, if not reverence. He was able to control his cabinet partly because he knew the questions that were discussed in depth, and his authority lay in his intelligence and his application to the work. St-Laurent also had a very precious asset: luck. He served his country in a time of plenty and could undeniably reap the benefits of this prosperity on the political level. When he had to face a difficult opposition, he could not draw on his qualities to carry out the task. In his career as a politician, he had two facets, that of a corporate lawyer and that of a father, but he did not have the dynamism of Diefenbaker, who was superior to him in election campaigns and debates. St. Laurent’s weak spot was in active politics and he was unable to find recruits to succeed some of his aging ministers. Given that the Liberals relied on regional leaders to rally supporters at the local level, this was a serious gap.

Biography Of Louis St. Laurent

Louis-Stephen St-Laurent had the misfortune to stay in power too long. Suffering from a form of depression, he became incapable of making the best choices for his party and for himself ; however, with respect to the country’s affairs, it can be said that even its most controversial policies – regarding the construction of the pipeline and the Suez Canal case – have proven to be the right ones. The period during which St-Laurent was prime minister erased from the collective memory, if Louis St. Laurentnot as an era of prosperity marked by comfort and tranquility. Perhaps the worst Prime Minister could not have missed out on prosperity, but peace and comfort are not bad legacies to posterity.

 

Allama Iqbal