Canada Between The Wars 1919-1939 The Economy Post War Economic Problems OBU MANY SMALL UNIONS Wartime manufacturing ended and factories retooled for peace time, and downsized. 350,000 veterans returned to the workforce. Unions attempted to consolidate strength gained during the war. Labour demands for “One Big Union” frightened government and business. Post War Economic Problems II The government refused a veteran demand for a $2000 bonus. Farmers were upset by government prices for wheat. Inflation, after 1917, resulted in rising interest rates. Winnipeg General Strike Workers demanded the right to bargain with employers. 30,000 workers set up picket lines on May 15, 1919. The strike showed signs of spreading beyond Winnipeg. A frightened government brought a violent end to the strike. Winnipeg General Strike Railways Bankrupt railway lines established during the Laurier era were consolidated by the government as the Canadian National Railway system. To meet costs the CNR raised freight rates on the Maritime section of the line imposing severe hardship on industry in this region. The Election of 1921 The Election of 1921 The new Conservative leader after 1920 was Arthur Meighen. The Liberals elected William Lyon Mackenzie King to lead their party. Discontent among farmers resulted in a new federal political party The Progressives. Arthur Meighen The Election of 1921 II The Progressives supported free trade, lower taxes and cheap freight rates. The Liberals also supported free trade. The Conservatives continued to support high tariffs and this cost them the election. Mackenzie King formed government in 1921. Mackenzie King The Election of 1921 III Liberal seats Progressive seats Conservative seats Progressive strength in the West combined with Liberal support in Quebec and the Maritimes swept the Conservatives from power. Canadian Autonomy The Growth of Canadian Autonomy 1914 -1919 Decision making for much of World War I was entirely British. In 1917 the British War Cabinet was expanded to become the Imperial War Cabinet which included all of the Dominion prime ministers. In 1919 Canada placed her own signature on the Treaty of Versailles and took a separate seat on the League of Nations. Mackenzie King and The Empire Mackenzie King did not support military expansion and wished to distance himself from the Empire. He cut the defence budget and appointed O.D. Skeleton to direct Canada’s foreign policy. King’s policies were popular in the West and in Quebec. King and Canadian Autonomy Liberal nationalism was demonstrated by The Chanak Crisis of 1922 King refused to support Britain’s request for troops in case of a war with Turkey. The Halibut Treaty of 1923 For the first time Canada signed an international treaty without British support. The Statute of Westminster 1931 In 1923 at the Imperial Conference Mackenzie King and J.B.M. Herzog of South Africa proposed that the foreign policy of each dominion should be completely independent of British control. The King-Herzog Principle led to the Statute of Westminster of 1931 which established Canada as an “autonomous community within the British Empire.” The King-Byng Affair The Election of 1925 Between 1921 and 1925 economic conditions in most of Canada improved but The Progressive party was weakened by internal disagreement and The Liberals had failed to keep all the promises of 1921. They were now vulnerable in the Maritimes because of Freight Rates and Tariffs. The Election of 1925 II Conservative seats Liberal seats Progressive seats Mackenzie King lost the election but called on the support of the Progressive Party and refused to resign. The King-Byng Wing-Ding 1926 A scandal in the Liberal government forced Mackenzie King to ask Lord Byng, the GovernorGeneral, for dissolution. Lord Byng would not grant this request because Meighen led the largest party. An election had just taken place in 1925. Lord Byng The King-Byng Wing-Ding A reluctant Arthur Meighen now formed government. King accused Lord Byng and the Conservatives of “twisting the Constitution.” The Progressives continued to support the Liberals and Meighen was quickly defeated. An election called for September 14, 1926 returned King and the Liberals to power.