Item AAAB2510 - W.A.C. Bennett interview : [Mitchell, 1976-1978 : part 1]

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W.A.C. Bennett interview : [Mitchell, 1976-1978 : part 1]

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  • sound recording

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  • Source of title proper: Supplied title based on item contents.

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  • 1976-1977 [date recorded] (Creation)

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CALL NUMBER: T1675:0013 SUPPLIED TITLE OF TAPE(S): The early years and family background of W.A.C. Bennett, 1900-1930 PERIOD COVERED: 1900-1930 RECORDED: [location unknown], 1976-05-12 SUMMARY: W.A.C. Bennett discusses his early years, the background of his family in New Brunswick, family relationships and early education. First interest in politics. Recollections of political figures. Apprenticeship in the hardware business. Moving to Edmonton after the First World War. Religious and business activities in Edmonton. Attitudes towards tobacco and alcohol. Meeting his future wife, Annie Elizabeth May Richards. Moving to British Columbia, 1930. CALL NUMBER: T1675:0014 SUPPLIED TITLE OF TAPE(S): British Columbia politics from the 1930s to the Second World War PERIOD COVERED: 1930-1939 RECORDED: [location unknown], 1976-10-08 SUMMARY: W.A.C. Bennett discusses British Columbia politics during the 1930s and comments on the personalities and political styles of Premiers Simon Fraser Tolmie and T.D. Pattullo. W.A.C. Bennett recounts his first involvement in provincial politics as a Conservative. Elected in 1941 in South Okanagan. Pattullo and the Rowell-Sirois Commission. Reasons why Pattullo was "turned out" by his own party. Formation of the coalition. Social Credit and economics during the Depression in the 1930s. CALL NUMBER: T1675:0015 SUPPLIED TITLE OF TAPE(S): W.A.C. Bennett and Coalition politics in B.C., 1941-1951 PERIOD COVERED: 1941-1951 RECORDED: [location unknown], 1976-10-08 SUMMARY: W.A.C. Bennett discusses his service as an MLA on the Post-War Rehabilitation Council. The effect of Pat Maitland's death on the Coalition government. Bennett comments on his increasing disillusionment with the Coalition government which precipitated his crossing of the floor of the House in 1951. The 1948 Yale by-election. Bennett recollects his first attempt to enter politics in 1937. The origins of the single transferable ballot. Socialism and Social Credit. CALL NUMBER: T1675:0016 SUPPLIED TITLE OF TAPE(S): W.A.C. Bennett recalls the political battles of 1952 and 1975 PERIOD COVERED: 1952-1975 RECORDED: [location unknown], 1976-12-13 SUMMARY: TRACK 1: W.A.C. Bennett recalls his response to the criticisms which were levelled at him after joining the Social Credit party. Attitudes towards the press. Comments on Tilly Rolston and the importance of her defection from the ranks of the Coalition government and decision to join Social Credit. The relationship between the Alberta Social Credit party and the fledgling Socred movement in B.C. Events surrounding Bennett's decision to join Social Credit. TRACK 2: Comments on the Social Credit convention of December 1951 and Bennett's decision not to run for the campaign leadership of the party. The meeting after the 1952 election at the Hotel Vancouver at which W.A.C. Bennett was chosen as leader of the Social Credit party. The 1952 election campaign. The importance of hospital insurance as an issue in the campaign. Anecdote about a campaign meeting at Golden where Bennett was confronted by Liberal hecklers led by Tom King. Religion and its importance in Social Credit election victories. Grace McCarthy, Dan Campbell and the rebuilding of the Social Credit party after the 1972 election defeat. CALL NUMBER: T1675:0017 SUPPLIED TITLE OF TAPE(S): W.A.C. Bennett and Social Credit's rise to power in B.C., 1952 PERIOD COVERED: 1952-1972 RECORDED: [location unknown], 1976-12-13 SUMMARY: TRACK 1: W.A.C. Bennett recalls further aspects of the 1952 election campaign. Albertan Socreds in the election campaign. Political organization in the 1952 campaign. Waiting to be called upon to form a government. The role of leadership in politics. Lieutenant-Governor Clarence Wallace and the constitutional problem posed by the outcome of the election. Bennett assembles his prospective ministers in Victoria and prepares to assume office. Meeting with Clarence Wallace. Swearing in the new government. Tom Uphill's mistake. TRACK 2: Comments on the problem within Socred ranks after forming government. Social Credit was one coalition replacing another. Government and patronage. The importance of Bennett in the Socred victory. The role of the single transferable ballot. The Socreds were a "people's government". Economic development in British Columbia since 1952: the Columbia River Treaty, the two-rivers policy, the genesis of the homeowners' grant and parity bonds. CALL NUMBER: T1675:0018 SUPPLIED TITLE OF TAPE(S): W.A.C. Bennett and the consolidation of power, 1952 PERIOD COVERED: 1950-1952 RECORDED: [location unknown], 1977-01-15 SUMMARY: TRACK 1: W.A.C. Bennett discusses the decline of the Coalition government in B.C. Reform elements within the Coalition. The Esquimalt by-election of 1951. Commander A.C. Wurtele and his reluctance to ;run as an independent candidate. The Esquimalt by-election campaign. The importance of the by-election. TRACK 2: W.A.C. Bennett discusses joining the Social Credit party. The influence of Eric Martin. The financial state of British Columbia's government at the time he assumed office, August 1952. Advice given to cabinet colleagues. Problems associated with acquiring legislative seats for Robert Bonner and Einar Gunderson. Relations with the provincial civil service after forming the government. CALL NUMBER: T1675:0019 SUPPLIED TITLE OF TAPE(S): W.A.C. Bennett and the Socreds' first session in the B.C. Legislature, 1953 PERIOD COVERED: 1952-1953 RECORDED: [location unknown], 1977-01-15 SUMMARY: TRACK 1: W.A.C. Bennett discusses problems he encountered after forming B.C.'s first Social Credit government, August, 1952. Problems within the Social Credit party. Relations with opposition parties in the House. The appeal of Social Credit. Einar Gunderson and his role in government. Robert Sommers and the Doukhobor issue. Meeting with Premier Manning in Edmonton, December 1952. Comments on the first session of the B.C. legislature presided over by a Socred administration, 1953. TRACK 2: Choosing a Speaker of the Legislative Assembly. Coordination of House strategy with the Socred caucus. Initiation of pay-as-you-go policies for government expenditures. Harold Winch as Leader of the Opposition. The defeat of the Socred government in the House on the Rolston Formula. Preparation for defeat. Events following the defeat of the government in the House. CALL NUMBER: T1675:0020 SUPPLIED TITLE OF TAPE(S): W.A.C. Bennett and the 1953 provincial election PERIOD COVERED: 1952-1953 RECORDED: [location unknown], 1977-01-15 SUMMARY: TRACK 1: W.A.C. Bennett discusses the effect of not being called upon to form a government on Harold Winch. The provincial election campaign, 1953. The effect of the transferable ballot. Relations with the federal Social Credit party. Support of Real Caouette for the leadership of the federal party. Reasons for success in the 1953 election. Preference for use of the title "Prime Minister". Effects of becoming Premier on personal life. [TRACK 2: blank.]

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David Mitchell, 1979


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  • Complete transcript on file.
  • Reference cassette copy available in container 000443-094 and -095.

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No access restrictions apply. [WAS: Tapes not to be released to public for a period of ten years without permission of M. Anita Tozer. (Per M.A. Tozer, 1979-04-12.) Expired, 1989-04-12.]

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  • Copying Restriction: None.
  • Use Restriction: Undetermined.
  • Copyright Status: Undetermined.

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Accession number(s): T1675

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speaker: William Andrew Cecil Bennett, interviewer: David Joseph Mitchell

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