Arthur Meighen fonds: finding aids

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Document Record

Arthur Meighen
Arthur Meighen fonds: finding aids
MG 26 I
Politics and politicians
Document source
Library and Archives Canada / Bibliothèque et Archives Canada
Arthur Meighen (1874 - 1960) was a Canadian lawyer and politician. He served two very comparatively brief terms as a Conservative Prime Minister of Canada: from July 1920 to December 1921, and from June 1926 to September 1926. He was the first Prime Minister born after Confederation, and the only one to represent a riding in Manitoba. Meighen served as Solicitor General from 1913 until 1917, when he was appointed Minister of Mines and Secretary of State for Canada. In 1917, he was mainly responsible for putting in place mandatory military service as a result of the Conscription Crisis. In October 1917, Meighen became Minister of the Interior and Superintendent of Indian Affairs. As Minister of the Interior, Meighen steered through Parliament the largest piece of legislation ever enacted in the British Empire with the creation of the Canadian National Railway. In 1919, as acting Minister of Justice and senior Manitoban in the government of Sir Robert Borden (1854 - 1937), Meighen helped put down the Winnipeg General Strike by force. He was re-appointed Minister of Mines on the last day of 1920. After his second tenure as Prime Minister, Meighen resigned as Conservative Party leader and moved to Toronto to practice law. However, Meighen was appointed to the Senate in 1932 and served as Leader of the Government in the Senate and Minister without Portfolio from 1932 to 1935. He served as Leader of the Opposition in the Senate from 1935 until his resignation in 1942 during a political comeback as Conservative party leader. However, this comeback attempt was not successful, and he announced he was stepping down as leader in late 1942. Following this second political retirement, Meighen returned to the practice of law in Toronto. Buildings and landmarks in Canada have been named in his honour.
These papers largely consist of correspondence and cover such topics as the federal election of 1917, war-time legislation and the policies and personnel of the Union Government. The period 1920 to 1926 is covered in considerable detail. About 70 percent of the correspondence covers the 1920 to 1926 period. Also included are papers relating to personal finances, 1878-1945, and letters from Arthur Meighen to his son, T.R. Meighen, 1923-1953.