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Sloan, Gordon McGregor Forest management--British Columbia
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Royal Commission on Forest Resources, 1955

  • GR-0668
  • Series
  • 1955-1957

This series consists of records of the 1955 Royal Commission on Forest Resources, led by Commissioner Gordon McGregor Sloan. Records include transcripts of evidence, exhibits, proceedings, arguments, and report synopsis. Box 1 contains a bound index of commission records. It should be noted that some exhibits are missing from this unit. They were never received by BC Archives and their location is unknown. Some page numbers were not used in printed volumes.

British Columbia. Royal Commission on Forest Resources (1955-57)

W.A.C. Bennett interview : [Mitchell, 1976-1978 : part 2]

CALL NUMBER: T1675:0021 SUPPLIED TITLE OF TAPE(S): Social Credit and economic development in British Columbia, 1952-1972 PERIOD COVERED: 1952-1972 RECORDED: [location unknown], 1977-06-16 SUMMARY: TRACK 1: W.A.C. Bennett discusses the administration of public finances in British Columbia during the years he served as Premier. Economic conditions in B.C. when Social Credit came to power, 1952. Anecdote about meeting an old trapper in the Peace River country. Bennett's plan for developing British Columbia. John de Wolf and reaction to the takeover of B.C. Electric. Bennett's belief in making the capitalist system work for the people. Politics as the only real science. TRACK 2: Comments on the nature of the British Columbia economy. The roles of resource industries and tourism in the economy. The lack of secondary industry in B.C. British Columbia's place in the world economy. Story about a trip to the Iron Curtain. Attitude toward the United States and the issue of continentalism in North America. Cooperation with the federal government on various projects. The Columbia River Treaty. Economic development in B.C. as a consequence of post-war prosperity. Populism. Problems associated with maintaining Social Credit's hegemony in B.C. under W.A.C. Bennett's leadership. CALL NUMBER: T1675:0022 SUPPLIED TITLE OF TAPE(S): Financial policies of Social Credit in British Columbia, 1952-1960 PERIOD COVERED: 1952-1960 RECORDED: [location unknown], 1977-06-17 SUMMARY: TRACK 1: W.A.C. Bennett discusses Einar Gunderson's loss of a legislative seat, 1953, and his subsequent role in the government. Assuming the Finance portfolio. Comments on close friends and confidants during his early years as Premier. Comments on literature written on the subject of his years in power: Ron Worley's "The Wonderful World of W.A.C. Bennett", Paddy Sherman's "Bennett", Martin Robin's "Pillars of Profit", Pat McGeer's "Politics in Paradise". Political philosophy. Reduction of the public debt as the keystone of Social Credit policy during the early years of power. TRACK 2: Explanation of the process of eliminating the public debt of British Columbia. Debt reduction and its relationship to Socred development policies. Reasons for concentrating on the policy of debt reduction. Direct liabilities vs. contingent liabilities. The bond-burning ceremony at Kelowna, August 1, 1959. The development of parity bonds. The genesis of the B.C. homeowner's grant. CALL NUMBER: T1675:0023 SUPPLIED TITLE OF TAPE(S): Government finance and transportation policies of the Socreds PERIOD COVERED: 1952-1972 RECORDED: [location unknown], 1977-06-18 SUMMARY: TRACK 1: W.A.C. Bennett discusses the budgetary processes of his Social Credit government. Treasury Board and "Little Treasury Board". The budget as an instrument of government policy. Balanced budget vs. deficit financing. Elimination of nuisance taxes. Political popularity vs. high principles as factors in the formulation of government policy. Budgetary growth and economic development. The advocacy of unpopular policies and the defeat of the government in 1972. TRACK 2: Plans for the expansion of the PGE Railway. The role of the railway in Bennett's plan for the development of British Columbia's north. Bennett's "Northern Vision". Oil and gas discoveries in B.C.'s Peace River District. Frank McMahon, Westcoast Transmission Company, and Bennett's efforts to build a pipeline in British Columbia. Meeting with presidents of oil companies in Victoria. Establishment of the Toll Bridges and Highway Authority, 1953. The construction and financing of highways in B.C. The background to the establishment of the B.C. Ferries Corporation. CALL NUMBER: T1675:0024 SUPPLIED TITLE OF TAPE(S): Provincial and Federal Social Credit policies in Canada, 1952-1972 PERIOD COVERED: 1952-1972 RECORDED: [location unknown], 1977-08-16 SUMMARY: TRACK 1: W.A.C. Bennett discusses relations among the B.C. and Alberta Social Credit parties and the federal Social Credit party. Social Credit's ambitions in the federal field in Canada. The contest for the leadership of the federal Socreds between Robert Thompson and Real Caouette, 1961. Motivations for Manning's support of Thompson and Bennett's support for Caouette. British Columbia Socreds and their support for the federal wing of the party. The Albertan influence on the federal Socreds. Anecdote about the possibility of Ross Thatcher joining Social Credit. TRACK 2: The role of Orvis Kennedy within the Alberta Social Credit movement. Evaluation of the leadership of Solon Low. Bennett's lack of interest in becoming directly involved in federal politics after he became Premier. Anecdote about a federal Socred meeting at "The Market" in Montreal. Evaluation of Robert Thompson's leadership of the federal Social Credit party. Reasons for Thompson's failure. The effect of the Diefenbaker 'sweep' on the federal Socreds' fortunes. Reasons why Bennett supported Caouette. Anecdote about addressing a large audience in Caouette's home town of Rouyn, Quebec. Reasons for the lack of success of the Social Credit party in federal politics in Canada. CALL NUMBER: T1675:0025 SUPPLIED TITLE OF TAPE(S): Relations with federal governments in Ottawa, 1952-1968 PERIOD COVERED: 1952-1964 RECORDED: [location unknown], 1977-08-16 SUMMARY: TRACK 1: W.A.C. Bennett discusses further aspects of his relationship with the federal Social Credit party in Canada. The role of the Social Credit League. The Social Credit party's influence on government policy. Federal Liberal and Conservative governments were jealous of Social Credit's achievements in British Columbia. Reasons why B.C. did not receive substantial financial aid from Ottawa during Bennett's years as Premier. Criticism of federal government's "tight money" policies. TRACK 2: Bennett's government cooperated with Ottawa on major projects. No difference in dealing with a Liberal or Conservative federal administration. Lester Pearson and the Columbia River Treaty. The B.C. government's proposal for a Bank of British Columbia. The Senate Bank Committee Hearings. Anecdote about a meeting with Paul Martin. Reasons why the original proposal for a Bank of B.C. were not successful. The present Bank of British Columbia's indebtedness to Bennett's government. CALL NUMBER: T1675:0026 SUPPLIED TITLE OF TAPE(S): Background to the Sommers Affair PERIOD COVERED: 1930-1960 RECORDED: [location unknown], 1977-08-17 SUMMARY: TRACK 1: W.A.C. Bennett explains how he acquired his home in Kelowna. The purchase of his hardware store from David Leckie, 1930. Reasons why he did not seek nomination as campaign leader of the Social Credit party for the 1952 election. The background to the Sommers Affair. Bennett hired a private detective to investigate Sommers when he first heard rumours of irregularities. Reasons why Sommers had been chosen as a cabinet minister. Sommers one of the Socreds' best debaters. TRACK 2: Bennett comments on Liberal "friends" who leaked information to him. He reads from a public opinion poll commissioned by the Liberals in 1968 which rates the chances of success of several possible Liberal leaders in B.C., including John Turner. Robert Sommers' personal weaknesses. Gordon Gibson Sr.'s charges against Sommers in the legislature and the later by-election in Lillooet. Anecdote about a lively by-election campaign meeting. Bennett does not regret appointing Sommers to the cabinet. Further comments on Gordon Gibson Sr. Comments on persuading Chief Justice Sloan to become forestry advisor to the Bennett government. Evaluation of Attorney-General Bonner's handling of the Sommers case. CALL NUMBER: T1675:0027 SUPPLIED TITLE OF TAPE(S): The Sommers Affair PERIOD COVERED: 1956-1960 RECORDED: [location unknown], 1977-08-17 SUMMARY: TRACK 1: W.A.C. Bennett discusses further aspects of the Sommers Affair. Asking for Sommers' resignation from the cabinet and the appointment of new ministers. All-night sittings of the legislature. The calling of elections. The election of 1956. The effect of the Sommers Affair on the outcome of the election. Bennett's battle with the newspapers. Views on the press. Reasons for the Social Credit victory in the 1956 election. Further comments on Sommers, the court case and the Attorney-General's handling of it. TRACK 2: Reaction to the Sommers case. The impact of the Sommers Affair on the Social Credit government. Comments on possible dissension within Socred ranks. The handling of forest management licences by the Bennett government. Comments on the outcome of the Sommers case. Further comments on Robert Bonner's handling of the Sommers Affair. Loyalty as a possible weakness of W.A.C. Bennett. History will vindicate Sommers. CALL NUMBER: T1675:0028 SUPPLIED TITLE OF TAPE(S): Federal-Provincial relations, 1952-1972 PERIOD COVERED: 1952-1972 RECORDED: [location unknown], 1977-10 SUMMARY: TRACK 1: W.A.C. Bennett discusses aspects of federal-provincial relations during the years he served as Premier, 1952-1972. Relations between the provinces and the federal government improved during the period. Loyalty to a united Canada. Enjoyed dealing with C.D. Howe in Ottawa. Comparison of the four Prime Ministers Bennett served in conjunction with: St. Laurent, Diefenbaker, Pearson and Trudeau. TRACK 2: Anecdote about an experience at an official dinner in Paris regarding France's relationship with Canada and Quebec. Discussion of further aspects of federal-provincial relations while serving as Premier of B.C. Response to references in the memoirs of former Prime Ministers Diefenbaker and Pearson. W.A.C. Bennett's style of politics. Comments about Pierre Trudeau's stewardship of the federal government. The incident of Trudeau referring to Bennett as "a bigot". CALL NUMBER: T1675:0029 SUPPLIED TITLE OF TAPE(S): The failure of the Victoria Charter, 1971 PERIOD COVERED: 1965-1972 RECORDED: [location unknown], 1977-10 SUMMARY: TRACK 1: W.A.C. Bennett discusses his attitude towards bilingualism in Canada. Review of the Canadian constitution. The background to the meeting in Victoria in June, 1971, at which the Victoria Charter was issued. Reasons for the failure to accept the charter. Quebec's lack of trust in the rest of Canada. Explanation of the formula for amending the Canadian constitution under the Victoria Charter. Individual rights versus national or regional interests as an issue in federal-provincial relations. Criticisms of a centralized federal system. [TRACK 2: blank.]

Commission on Forest Resources, 1943-1945

  • GR-0520
  • Series
  • 1944-1946

This series consists of records of the Commission on Forest Resources (1943-1945). Records consist of transcripts of proceedings of public meetings of the commission, exhibits received, correspondence, arguments, secretary's record book of sittings and subject index to proceedings. A subject index to proceedings was created by the commission and is located in boxes 1 and 2. The finding aid gives a list of exhibits and file list of other records. Immediately following the inquiry, many of the exhibits were transferred to the Forest Service Library and are therefore missing (see box 9, file 1).

British Columbia. Royal Commission on Forest Resources (1943-45)

Ray Williston interview : part 2

The item is an audio recording of an interview with Ray Williston.
T1375:0008 track 1: The granting of a tree farm licence in Squamish in late 1960s. Chief Justice Gordon McGregor Sloan and the Royal Commission on Forestry report, 1957. Sloan appointed permanent advisor on forestry, 1958. Relations between Sloan and Williston. Sloan's death in 1959 and associated problems, including unfinished assignments. Opposition to the TFL system by smaller logging companies. Williston's rejection of their arguments.
Track 2: More on small operators' opposition to TFL policy. "Contractor clauses" in TFLs. Small loggers in B.C. Centennial celebrations of 1958. Role of L.J. Wallace and the centennial committee.

T1375:0009 track 1: Centennial celebrations, 1958. Details and anecdotes about Princess Margaret's visit, 1958. Other centennial events. Williston less involved with later centennial celebrations. Northern development in B.C. and Williston's role in promoting it. Williston's ideas about industrial development in B.C.
Track 2: More on northern and industrial development. Wenner-Gren in British Columbia: Memorandum of intent, 1956, details about the original contacts, necessity of the letter of intent, Hydro power investigations, role of Percy Gray in the original conception of the development, the actual negotiations between the government and Bernard Gore and Burger Strid, roles of Williston, Bonner, Gunderson and Bennett in the negotiations, opposition to the agreement from press, legislative opposition and B.C. and Yukon Chamber of Mines, questions about Wenner-Gren personally.

T1375:0010 track 1: Reaction to Axel Wenner-Gren. Role of Einar Gunderson and potential conflict of interest. Williston meets Wenner-Gren, 1957. More details on Wenner-Gren development. The Columbia River Treaty: Williston involved from 1956 to 1972, positions held by Williston, roles of Bennett and Bonner.
Track 2: Secondary role of cabinet in Columbia River Treaty matters. Bennett only concerned with larger implications of the treaty. Developments to 1956. Kaiser proposal to dam the Columbia, early 1950s. Kaiser proposal rejected by Gen. A.G.L. McNaughton. Williston's personal assessment of McNaughton. McNaughton's "anti-American" attitudes. The "McNaughton Plan" for the Columbia River and Williston's reasons for rejecting it. More on General McNaughton.

T1375:0011 track 1: Role of General A.G.L. McNaughton in the Columbia River Treaty negotiations. Details of the treaty negotiations from Williston's point of view. Key role of Art Paget. Government strategy in the development of the Peace River region. The importance of timing between the Columbia and Peace power developments.
Track 2: Decision not to proceed with the Columbia development until after a start was made on the Peace. The two-river policy. Williston tours the province to convince people of the value of the two-river policy. More on the two-river policy. Planning and negotiations, 1957-60. Circumstances regarding the detailed report of Paddy Sherman. Controversy about the Sherman article. More on planning and negotiations, 1957-1960.

T1375:0012 track 1: Firing of B.C. Power Commission general manager Lee Briggs, 1957. Progress in federal-provincial negotiations, 1957-1959. Consideration of flooding in East Kootenay and Arrow Lakes areas. The; International Columbia River Engineering Board report 1959, and the options for developing the Columbia River.
Track 2: Considerations about the Libby Dam proposal. Role of Ed Bassett in the treaty negotiations. Complex financing of the engineering studies for the Columbia River projects. Columbia River Treaty signed, January 1961. Anecdotes about the signing ceremony. The key positions of B.C. Electric Co. Problems of marketing power in B.C. and the United States. The importance of making a long-term sale of power to the United States.

T1375:0013 track 1: Discussion of negotiation of the Columbia River Treaty. The roles of other cabinet ministers and technical advisors. Williston's personal assessment of the Columbia River Treaty. Issues arising from the public hearings on water licences for the Treaty projects. The takeover of B.C. Electric and Peace River power development companies, 1961.
Track 2: More on the hydro power takeovers. Williston on the new board of B.C. Hydro and Power Authority. Other board members. Gordon Shrum and Hugh Keenleyside as co-chairmen of B.C. Hydro.

T1375:0014 track 1: Gordon Shrum and Hugh Keenleyside as co-chairmen of B.C. Hydro. Clashes between E. Davie Fulton and W.A.C. Bennett. Negotiations for the sale of downstream benefits from the Columbia River. Delays due to federal election of 1962. Tenders for the Portage Mountain dam (Bennett Dam). Canadian ratification of the Columbia River Treaty. Relationship between Paul Martin (Sr) and Bennett. More on the sale of downstream benefits.
Track 2: Sale of downstream benefits completed. Bennett not totally satisfied with the overall terms of the treaty. Williston's own unhappiness with regard to the division of flood control benefits. Federal-provincial negotiations on treaty implementation. Signing of the protocol to the treaty, 1964. Hearings before the External Affairs Committee, Ottawa. Peace Arch ceremony, 1964. Summary remarks about the treaty. Williston comments on the effects of inflation on the treaty. Information supplied during negotiations from Americans. No consideration given to power conservation.