Item AAAB3823 - Randolf Harding interview : [Petter 1978 : part 1]

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Randolf Harding interview : [Petter 1978 : part 1]

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  • sound recording

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  • 1978-07 [date recorded] (Creation)

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CALL NUMBER: T3288:0001 SUPPLIED TITLE OF TAPE(S): Family background and early political recollections, 1914-1940 PERIOD COVERED: 1914-1940 RECORDED: [location unknown], 1978-07-10 SUMMARY: TRACK 1: Mr. Harding discusses his family background and his childhood in Silverton. Discussion of transportation systems in the Slocan area. Description of community life in Silverton: prostitution, religion, entertainment. Early political interests: first contact with socialism during the 1930s Depression. TRACK 2: Effects of the Depression on the Harding family and on Silverton. Discussion of Harding's move to Vancouver, 1931, and conditions in Vancouver. Discusses reasons for becoming a teacher. Attends normal school in Vancouver; gets post at Burton; conditions at Burton. C.C.F. influences on Harding: George Doughty, George Walton (1933 C.C.F. provincial candidate in Kaslo-Slocan), Joe Grey (and his role in converting Bert Herridge to the C.C.F.). Early recollections of Bert Herridge. Harding becomes actively involved in Kaslo-Slocan C.C.F. despite approaches from the Liberals and Conservatives. CALL NUMBER: T3288:0002 SUPPLIED TITLE OF TAPE(S): Early political involvement and World War II, 1935-1945 PERIOD COVERED: 1935-1945 RECORDED: [location unknown], 1978-07-10 SUMMARY: TRACK 1: Recollections of early political meetings: Gerry McGeer, Grant MacNeil, Colin Cameron, Grace MacInnis. Harding becomes increasingly involved in Kaslo-Slocan C.C.F. Effect of Coalition government on the C.C.F. in Kaslo-Slocan (particularly in relation to the 1945 provincial election). Recollections of 1935 federal election: Herridge runs for C.C.F. Comments regarding the nature of the C.C.F. in the West Kootenay area: factionalism, etc (effects of Connell split). The 1937 provincial election: Herridge runs again. Comments on the emergence of the Social Credit movement in the region. Economic conditions in Kaslo-Slocan during the late thirties. Problems relating to being a teacher while being politically active in C.C.F. Involvement in B.C. Teachers' Federation. World War II: enlists (1944) TRACK 2: More on WW II: C.C.F. position on the war; conscription; politics within the army; Harding's wife dies; returns to Kootenays. Background on Herridge's split from the C.C.F. and Harding's involvement in the controversy: 1940 federal election, 1941 provincial election (Herridge runs in Rossland-Trail). Aside on Japanese internment during the war: C.C.F. position, political backlash, Japanese camps in the Slocan Valley, discrimination against Japanese. CALL NUMBER: T3288:0003 SUPPLIED TITLE OF TAPE(S): The 1945 provincial election campaign PERIOD COVERED: 1945-1945 RECORDED: [location unknown], 1978-07-10 SUMMARY: TRACK 1: The 1945 provincial election (and more on Harding's involvement in the Herridge controversy): Harding decides to run, nominating convention, campaign, effect of Herridge controversy on campaign, nature of the campaign (style, tactics). TRACK 2: More on the 1945 campaign in Kaslo-Slocan. Recollections of election victory and election eve. CALL NUMBER: T3288:0004 SUPPLIED TITLE OF TAPE(S): The 1945 campaign aftermath and first legislating experiences PERIOD COVERED: 1945-1949 RECORDED: [location unknown], 1978-07-11 SUMMARY: TRACK 1: More comments on the 1945 campaign and aftermath. Harding elected president of West Kootenay C.C.F. Association (November 1945). Harding helps resolve financial difficulties between C.C.F. and People's C.C.F. Helps gets Herridge reinstated in C.C.F. Comments on charges linking Herridge with communists. Harding describes his first impressions of the Legislature, first session and maiden speech. TRACK 2: First legislative speeches (cont'd): speech-making (Harold Winch, Bert Gargrave, Gordon Wismer, Ernest Carson, Joe Corsbie); description of Premier John Hart; accessibility of Coalition cabinet ministers; description of C.C.F. caucus; discussion regarding the role of the Legislature and of legislators. Recollections of first term as MLA: sales tax issue; public power issue (rural electrification); resignation of W.A.C. Bennett to run in Yale by-election, 1948 (Harding works in by-election against Bennett); public insurance issue. CALL NUMBER: T3288:0005 SUPPLIED TITLE OF TAPE(S): First Term as an MLA and 1949 provincial election, 1946-1952 PERIOD COVERED: 1946-1952 RECORDED: [location unknown], 1978-07-11 SUMMARY: TRACK 1: First term as an MLA (cont'd): advocates liberalizing Canadian divorce laws; caucus revolt against Harold Winch; recollections of Ernie Winch; changes in personal life, life as an MLA, marries Frances. Comments on rightward drift of C.C.F. TRACK 2: Mr. Harding discusses 1949 provincial election: the provincial and Kaslo-Slocan campaigns, issues of campaign, Communist scare tactics, the Japanese vote. 1950-52 legislative sessions: rifts in Coalition and Premier Byron Johnson. CALL NUMBER: T3288:0006 SUPPLIED TITLE OF TAPE(S): Legislative work and the 1952 provincial election, 1952-1953 PERIOD COVERED: 1950-1953 RECORDED: [location unknown], 1978-07-11 SUMMARY: TRACK 1: 1950-1952 legislative sessions (cont'd): more on rifts in the Coalition ranks; preferential ballot; manoeuvres of W.A.C. Bennett -- crossing the floor; hospital insurance issue; sales tax issue; break-up of Coalition. Local issues: Celgar pulp project (background on forest management situation in B.C.); Dr. Stephen Norwell controversy. TRACK 2: Local issues (cont'd): highway work (Kaslo-Lardeau Road); patronage. 1952 provincial election: rise of Social Credit League; effect of preferential ballot; Harding attends nomination meeting in Rossland-Trail; hospital insurance and sales tax; Kaslo-Slocan campaign; reaction to Social Credit victory (abortive attempt to get recount in Vancouver Burrard). 1952 by-elections. 1953 session: Rolston Formula, J. Allan Reid speech. CALL NUMBER: T3288:0007 SUPPLIED TITLE OF TAPE(S): 1953 provincial election and 1953-56 sessions PERIOD COVERED: 1953-1956 RECORDED: [location unknown], 1978-07-11 SUMMARY: TRACK 1: 1953 session (cont'd): more on J. Allan Reid speech; impressions of Social Credit government; W.A.C. Bennett; more on the Rolston Formula. Controversy regarding Winch's leadership and his wishes to be named Premier (following Social Credit defeat in the Legislature). Winch resigns. Webster becomes leader (Harding declines). Reflects on the role of a leader in British Columbia. Comments on Arnold Webster. TRACK 2: 1953 provincial election: W.A.C. Bennett; Kaslo-Slocan campaign; Webster; preferential ballot. 1953-56 legislative sessions: hospital insurance changes; legislation by exhaustion; Kaiser Dam proposal (and Mica Dam and Columbia River Treaty); Social Credit fiscal policy; Gordon Gibson Sr. resigns over allegations regarding forestry practices; the Sommers case. CALL NUMBER: T3288:0008 SUPPLIED TITLE OF TAPE(S): The Sommers case, W.A.C. Bennett, and C.C.F. leadership, 1953-1956 PERIOD COVERED: 1953-1956 RECORDED: [location unknown], 1978-[07-11] SUMMARY: TRACK 1: The Sommers case (cont'd). W.A.C. Bennett and his government (general comments). Harding advocates pay increases for civil service and politicians. Webster resigns as leader -- Strachan runs for and wins leadership. Caucus's role in influencing the party regarding the question of leadership. [TRACK 2: blank.]

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Provincial Archives of British Columbia. [staff members], [1974-1987]


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  • Complete transcript on file.
  • Reference cassette copy available in container 000443-189 and -190.

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No access restrictions apply.

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  • Copying Restriction: None.
  • Use Restriction: As determined by the BC Archives.
  • Copyright Status: Copyright British Columbia Archives.

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Accession number(s): T3288

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speaker: Randolf Harding, interviewer: Andrew Petter

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