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British Columbia. Dept. of Lands and Forests British Columbia--Politics and government--1952-1972
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Ray Williston interview : [Reimer, 1975 : part 1]

CALL NUMBER: T1375:0001 SUPPLIED TITLE OF TAPE(S): Childhood and Youth, 1914-1933 PERIOD COVERED: 1914-1933 RECORDED: [location unknown], 1975-01-02 SUMMARY: TRACK 1: Born in Victoria, 1914. United Empire Loyalist stock in New Brunswick, 1786. Family moves to B.C. in 1912 (?). Father in feed business. Moved to Ladner. Father in debt. Moved to Salmon Arm. Father killed in 1927, putting the family into even greater debt. TRACK 2: Works for "The SAFE" in Salmon Arm. Mother ran a boarding house. Played in dance band through the Depression. Ambition to become a pilot. Normal School in Victoria. Member of Older Boys' Parliament. Worked as warehouseman and clerk. Depression years in Salmon Arm. CALL NUMBER: T1375:0002 SUPPLIED TITLE OF TAPE(S): Student and teacher, 1934-1939 PERIOD COVERED: 1934-1939 RECORDED: [location unknown], 1975-01-02 SUMMARY: TRACK 1: Williston discusses his first teaching job in Hendon, B.C. in 1934. He then took a B.A. at UBC summer school, starting in 1935. Taught in Surrey, B.C. Talks about Surrey social life at the time, and his marriage in 1939. Moves to Princeton, B.C. Graduates from UBC in 1940. Discusses the social life in Princeton in the late 1930s. TRACK 2: Discusses teaching at the Princeton High School. UBC summer session discussed. Walks over Hope-Princeton trail in 1939. Gordon Shrum and Professor Sedgewick at UBC. Williston has attack of "nervous exhaustion". He develops an "abhorrence" of socialism during the 1930s. CALL NUMBER: T1375:0003 SUPPLIED TITLE OF TAPE(S): Airman and School Administrator, 1940-1952 PERIOD COVERED: 1940-1952 RECORDED: [location unknown], 1975-01-02 SUMMARY: TRACK 1: Rejects BCTF militancy in the 1930s. Rejection of socialism. RCAF (1940-1945) in Alberta. Returns to teaching in 1945. Supervising principal in Prince George. Joins the Department of Education as school inspector. TRACK 2: Reprimand by W.T. Straith, Minister of Education. Declines to run as a Socred in 1952. Runs in 1953 and elected (Fort George constituency). Unschooled in Socred monetary theory. Thought W.A.C. Bennett too conservative in financial matters. Socialism versus "adapted free enterprise". Voted for various parties in 1930s and 1940s. CALL NUMBER: T1375:0004 SUPPLIED TITLE OF TAPE(S): Social Credit politician, 1952-1954 PERIOD COVERED: 1952-1954 RECORDED: [location unknown], 1975-01-02 SUMMARY: TRACK 1: Attracted to the Social Credit Party in 1952 by the people in it. Nominating meeting in 1953. Had job as a lecturer at the University of Washington, 1954. Became Minister of Education, April 1954. Aquatic events in the Gorge, Victoria. [TRACK 2: blank.]; CALL NUMBER: T1375:0005 SUPPLIED TITLE OF TAPE(S): MLA and Minister of Education, 1953-1956 PERIOD COVERED: 1953-1956 RECORDED: [location unknown], 1975-10-06 SUMMARY: Williston reprimanded by William T. Straith, Minister of Education, for making public statements about education. Asked to resign as school inspector when he was nominated in 1953. 1953 election. W.A.C. Bennett speaks on behalf of Williston, 1953. Williston's first speech in Legislative Assembly. Williston gets favourable reaction from all sides. Responsibilities of "the press". Williston becomes Minister of Education, April 1954. Appointment kept secret until last minute. Initial problems and issues in education -- financing, teacher training, curriculum. Role of deputy ministers. Some senior public servants try to embarrass the new government, especially with regard to finances. School finances. CALL NUMBER: T1375:0006 SUPPLIED TITLE OF TAPE(S): Minister of Education, 1954-1956 PERIOD COVERED: 1954-1956 RECORDED: [location unknown], 1975-10-06 SUMMARY: TRACK 1: Problems of school construction and finance, 1954-56. Establishment of teacher training in universities. British Columbia College of Education. Reinstatement of World Review in the schools. Education problems with Doukhobors. Doukhobor school at New Denver, B.C. The socializing role of the school system. TRACK 2: More on B.C. College of Education. Personalities in B.C. education. Salaries of education officials. School openings. CALL NUMBER: T1375:0007 SUPPLIED TITLE OF TAPE(S): The "Sommers" Case PERIOD COVERED: 1955-1957 RECORDED: [location unknown], 1975-10-06 SUMMARY: TRACK 1: "Sommers scandal" in which Robert Sommers is accused and convicted of accepting bribes in relation to the granting of forest land tenures. Williston's personal assessment of Sommers. Williston appointed Minister of Lands and Forests, 1956. Reaction within government to the scandal. Mel Bryan crosses the floor to protest Attorney-General Bonner's handling of the affair. TRACK 2: More on Mel Bryan and "Sommers scandal". Assessment of Ron Worley. Sloan Commission on Forestry, 1957.

Ray Williston interview : [Reimer, 1975 : part 3]

CALL NUMBER: T1375:0015 SUPPLIED TITLE OF TAPE(S): Hydro Electric Power Development in B.C., 1960s PERIOD COVERED: 1960-1975 RECORDED: [location unknown], 1975-10-08 SUMMARY: TRACK 1: Williston's assessment of the Columbia River Treaty. Gordon Shrum and Hugh Keenleyside as co-chairmen of B.C. Hydro. Discussion of Gordon Shrum and his role in B.C. power development. Decision to lower the height of Bennett Dam. TRACK 2: Flooding the reservoir behind Bennett Dam. Clearing problems and environmental criticisms. Williston and son take canoe trip down the Parsnip and Peace Rivers prior to flooding. More on the clearing of the reservoir. Williston took strong personal interest in the flooding problems. CALL NUMBER: T1375:0016 SUPPLIED TITLE OF TAPE(S): Water resources and economic development, 1950s and 1960s PERIOD COVERED: 1955-1975 RECORDED: [location unknown], 1975-10-08 SUMMARY: TRACK 1: Clearing activities in reservoirs planned by B.C. Forest Service. Williston Lake named after R.G. Williston. Opening of Peace River Power Project. Stories about the construction of Bennett Dam. Planned development of hydro power and industry in northern B.C. Proposed hydro power and flood control developments on the Fraser River: Moran Dam, McGregor River diversion, opposition by fishing lobby. TRACK 2: Conflicts between log drives and fisheries interests. More on flood control on the Fraser River. Hydro power schemes for the Liard and Homathko Rivers. Planned economic development in; northern B.C. The role of planning in the Social Credit government. Attempts to divert economic activity in the Yukon and NWT through B.C. W.A.C. Bennett's proposal to annex northern territory. CALL NUMBER: T1375:0017 SUPPLIED TITLE OF TAPE(S): Northern development and B.C. forest industry, 1950s and 1960s PERIOD COVERED: 1956-1969 RECORDED: [location unknown], 1975-10-08 SUMMARY: TRACK 1: Northern development in B.C. and W.A.C. Bennett's proposal to annex the Yukon Territory to the Province of B.C. Development of the PGE Railway. Bennett's interest in the PGE. Creation of a separate Water Resources department in 1962. Internal Organization of the Department of Lands, Forests and Water Resources. Discussion about C.D. Orchard, Deputy Minister of Forests. TRACK 2: Senior personnel in B.C. Forest Service: C.D. Orchard, Gerry McKee, Lorne Swannell, Norm McRae, John Stokes, F.S. McKinnon, Peter Hemphill, Ian Cameron, Ted Young, Bill Young and Walter Hughes. Anomalies in the granting of Tree Farm Licences. TFLs granted after 1958. CALL NUMBER: T1375:0018 SUPPLIED TITLE OF TAPE(S): Development of the forest industry PERIOD COVERED: 1956-1965 RECORDED: [location unknown], 1975-10-08 SUMMARY: TRACK 1: Merger of MacMillan Bloedel and Power River Co. Personalities in the forest industry: John Liersch, J.V. Clyne, Foley Family, Relations between Williston and senior management in the large forest companies. Responsibilities entailed in a TFL. Differences between industrial foresters and government foresters. MacMillan Bloedel leaders in forestry practice. Importance of fire protection during the 1950s and 1960s. TRACK 2: More on fire protection. Water bombers. Development of self-dumping log barges. Expansion of the forest industry in the Interior: discussion of wasteful practices, possibility of establishing pulp mills, the role of Canadian Forest Products, the idea of a pulp-harvesting area. CALL NUMBER: T1375:0019 SUPPLIED TITLE OF TAPE(S): The development of pulp milling in B.C. Interior, 1960-1972 PERIOD COVERED: 1960-1972 RECORDED: [location unknown], 1975-10-08 SUMMARY: TRACK 1: Details about the granting of pulp harvesting agreements: Prince George - Prince George Pulp and Paper; Kamloops - Crown Zellerbach. Details about the first pulp mills in the Interior, especially Prince George Pulp and Paper Co. TRACK 2: More details about Interior pulp mills: the relationship between sawmills and pulp mills, "third band" wood. Interior manufacturers become small wood processing experts. Establishment of the pulp mill in Kamloops. Establishment of the Skookumchuk pulp mill: Japanese investment and business practice, the economics of pulp milling in the East Kootenays. CALL NUMBER: T1375:0020 SUPPLIED TITLE OF TAPE(S): Resource management in B.C., 1956-1972 PERIOD COVERED: 1955-1975 RECORDED: [location unknown], 1975-10-08 SUMMARY: TRACK 1: "Close utilization" slower to be accepted on the coast. Private versus public forest management. Problems of financing the B.C. Forest Service. Williston's ideas on company towns. Public access to logging roads. TRACK 2: Williston's ideas on multiple use. Multiple versus single purpose resource use. Opposition to some of the ideas of the Sierra Club. Williston's role in the establishment of ecological reserves. Slash burning and clear-cutting as forest management techniques. Formation of the Department of Recreation and Conservation, 1957. Formation of the Environment and Land Use Committee, 1969.

Robert Sommers interview

RECORDED: [location unknown], 1976-10-16 & 24 SUMMARY: In an interview by Scott Dixon of CFAX Radio, former BC cabinet minister Robert E. Sommers (1911-2000) discusses "the Sommers Affair" of the 1950s. While serving as BC's Minister of Lands and Forests (1952-1956), Sommers was accused of accepting bribes in connection with the issuance of forestry management licences by his department. A number of forestry company officials were charged with giving bribes, and Sommers was charged with receiving them. Sommers was eventually tried, and in 1958 he was convicted on five of the seven counts. As a result, he was the first elected politician in the British Commonwealth to be jailed for corruption. Sommers discusses some details of the episode and its impact on the Social Credit government of W.A.C. Bennett; his own actions in response to the allegations; and his arrest and conviction. He also discusses the role of Attorney-General Robert Bonner.