Macken­zie King passes power on to Louis St. Lau­rent

The Globe and Mail (Ottawa/Quebec Edition) - - NEWS - John Ib­bit­son

Nov. 15, 1948

Macken­zie King had been Lib­eral leader for al­most 30 years. As prime min­is­ter, he had led the coun­try through the af­ter­math of the Great War, the last years of the Great De­pres­sion and the Sec­ond World War. He forged a mod­ern, in­dus­trial, mostly united Canada, along with the pre­cur­sor to the wel­fare state, mak­ing him our great­est prime min­is­ter in the eyes of many his­to­ri­ans. But he was unloved: petty, un­gra­cious, ob­sessed with a suc­ces­sion of Ir­ish ter­ri­ers, all named Pat, given to seances with the dead – in­clud­ing the pre­vi­ous Pats. By 1948, he was old, lonely and un­well. Al­though the ap­pari­tions of Franklin Roo­sevelt and Wil­frid Lau­rier urged him to stay on, he re­luc­tantly re­signed in favour of Louis St. Lau­rent. Within two years he was gone. His clos­est aide con­fessed: “I felt no real sor­row at Macken­zie King’s death.” Yet, we live in the Canada he shaped.


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