Item AAAB2512 - W.A.C. Bennett interview : [Mitchell, 1976-1978 : part 3]

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W.A.C. Bennett interview : [Mitchell, 1976-1978 : part 3]

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  • sound recording

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

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  • 1977-1978 [date recorded] (Creation)

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CALL NUMBER: T1675:0030 SUPPLIED TITLE OF TAPE(S): The 'Five-Regions' idea and Canada's future RECORDED: [location unknown], 1977-11-06 SUMMARY: TRACK 1: W.A.C. Bennett discusses the origin and background of the five-regions concept. Recollection of the federal-provincial conference on the constitution, 1969, when Bennett first publicly advocated the idea. Reaction to the five-regions idea. Comments on how each region of Canada would benefit if Canada was restructured according to Bennett's plan. The Canadian north and the five-regions plan. The five-regions idea and the decentralization of the Canadian federal system. TRACK 2: Comments on Brian Brown's book, "The New Confederation". Bennett's views on British Columbia's place within Canadian confederation and the trend towards North American continentalism. Political alliances versus economic common markets. Bennett values Canadian independence and British political institutions. Anecdote about Rene Levesque asking Bennett to lead British Columbia out of Canadian confederation. CALL NUMBER: T1675:0031 SUPPLIED TITLE OF TAPE(S): British Columbia politics and the BCR (part 1) RECORDED: [location unknown], 1977-11-14 SUMMARY: TRACK 1: W.A.C. Bennett discusses his involvement with service clubs. His fierce patriotism for British Columbia. Cooperation with the federal government on several projects. Medicare. Construction of; the Trans-Canada Highway in B.C. The genesis of Roberts Bank. Cost-sharing with the federal government. Bennett's submission to the Royal Commission investigating the British Columbia Railway (BCR). Criticism of the post-1972 administration of BCR. TRACK 2: The BCR as a political railway. Reasons for changing its name from PGE to BCR. The intention to sell the PGE by some early B.C. Socreds. The railway should be operated as a public enterprise for the benefit of private businesses in the province. The railway should be run like a business. The role of Joe Broadbent, the manager of the BCR. The role of the president and board of directors of the railway. The issue of under-estimating construction costs on the Dease Lake extension of the BCR. Reasons for the extension of the BCR into the Canadian north and through to Alaska. Bennett's attitude towards environmentalism. CALL NUMBER: T1675:0032 SUPPLIED TITLE OF TAPE(S): British Columbia politics and the BCR (part 2) RECORDED: [location unknown], 1977-11-14 SUMMARY: TRACK 1: W.A.C. Bennett discusses the future of the BCR. The current plight of the railway is due to mismanagement by the NDP during the years it formed the provincial government. Bennett describes how, in his view, it would be possible to rejuvenate the BCR and prepare it for great future development. [TRACK 2: blank.] CALL NUMBER: T1675:0033 SUPPLIED TITLE OF TAPE(S): Government pension funds and labour policies, 1952-1972 PERIOD COVERED: 1952-1972 RECORDED: [location unknown], 1977-11-15 SUMMARY: TRACK 1: W.A.C. Bennett discusses his government's use of public service pension funds. The issue of pension fund shortfalls. Bennett's method of securing the future value of pension funds. The indexing of pensions. The problem of inflation and its effect on pension funds. The issue of pension fund socialism. TRACK 2: W.A.C. Bennett discusses the labour policies of his government, 1952-1972. The role of organized labour in the B.C. economy. Theory of labour-management relations. The character of the labour movement in B.C. The effect of government policies in labour-management relations. The NDP and organized labour. The issue of strikes in essential services. Evaluation of Bennett's Ministers of Labour: Lyle Wicks, Leslie Peterson, James Chabot. The government as referee in labour-manage;ment relations. CALL NUMBER: T1675:0034 SUPPLIED TITLE OF TAPE(S): Personal nicknames and Saltspring Island hideaway RECORDED: [location unknown], 1977-11-25 SUMMARY: TRACK 1: W.A.C. Bennett discusses his relationship with close personal friends. Commencement of the use of the initials W.A.C. after moving to Kelowna, 1930. Origin of the nickname "Wacky". Bennett's hideaway on Saltspring Island. Spending weekends on Saltspring Island while Premier. Description of Saltspring cottage. [TRACK 2: blank.] CALL NUMBER: T1675:0035 SUPPLIED TITLE OF TAPE(S): The budgetary process, treasury board and cabinet PERIOD COVERED: 1952-1972 RECORDED: [location unknown], 1978-02-04 SUMMARY: TRACK 1: W.A.C. Bennett discusses playing cards with friends and the importance of relaxation. Anecdote about a story told at a Christmas family occasion by Bennett's son R.J. Description of the budgetary processes of Bennett's government. TRACK 2: The role and function of little treasury board. The process of treasury board. Bennett's role as Chairman of the treasury board. The effect of Bennett's style of budgeting on his government's policies. The budget as an instrument of government policy. Serving simultaneously as Premier and Minister of Finance. The operation of Bennett's cabinet. The; virtual absence of cabinet committees. Travelling cabinet meetings. Plebiscites. CALL NUMBER: T1675:0036 SUPPLIED TITLE OF TAPE(S): Wenner-Gren and plans for the development of British Columbia PERIOD COVERED: 1952-1978 RECORDED: [location unknown], 1978-02-11 SUMMARY: TRACK 1: W.A.C. Bennett discusses maintenance of the legislative precinct during the period he was Premier. British Columbia's development and the growing world economy during the years of his government. The background to the Wenner-Gren plan to develop the interior of the province. Bennett's meeting in London, England, with Sir Andrew McTaggart and Dal Grauer which presaged the takeover of the B.C. Electric Company. TRACK 2: The genesis of the two rivers policy. The development of hydro-electric power on the Peace River and its effect on negotiations for the Columbia River Treaty. The effect of the Wenner-Gren plan. The memorandum of intent which was signed between the government and the Wenner-Gren B.C. Development Corporation. The aborted plans for the Pacific Northern Railway. The role of Einar Gunderson in the Wenner-Gren plan. Bennett responds to charges that BCR losses were hidden during the years of his government. CALL NUMBER: T1675:0037 SUPPLIED TITLE OF TAPE(S): Education policies of the Social Credit government, 1952-1972 PERIOD COVERED: 1952-1972 RECORDED: [location unknown], 1978-02-14 SUMMARY: TRACK 1: W.A.C. Bennett discusses his attitudes towards higher education. Anecdote about persuading his son, Bill, to consider going to university. Construction of Simon Fraser University and the University of Victoria. Relations with UBC. Relations with the academic community in general. Government funding for education. TRACK 2: Bennett recalls addressing a large student audience at UBC at which the university president, Norman McKenzie, was heckled. Evaluation of Bennett's successive Ministers of Education: Tilly Rolston, Robert Bonner, Ray Williston, Leslie Peterson, Donald Brothers. Dual cabinet portfolios. The role of the teachers in the defeat of the Social Credit government, 1972. Anecdote about Bert Price voting against the Socred minority government, 1953. CALL NUMBER: T1675:0038 SUPPLIED TITLE OF TAPE(S): Relationship with John Diefenbaker and the federal Conservative Party PERIOD COVERED: 1948-1963 RECORDED: [location unknown], 1978-03-04 SUMMARY: TRACK 1: W.A.C. Bennett recalls the days when he was a Conservative in British Columbia and memories of John Diefenbaker. The 1948 Yale by-election. Reasons for lack of success in the by-election. Efforts by the federal Conservatives to have Social Credit join their party. Relationship with the Diefenbaker government. The Columbia River Treaty. Meeting President Kennedy at a banquet in Seattle. The 1963 provincial election campaign and Davie Fulton's challenge in British Columbia. TRACK 2: Reasons for Fulton's challenge to Social Credit in British Columbia. Factors contributing to Fulton's failure in the 1963 election. Diefenbaker and the opening of the Trans-Canada highway in British Columbia. W.A.C. Bennett as a British Columbia nationalist.

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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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