O.D. Skelton: The Work of the World, 1923-1941

O.D. Skelton: The Work of the World, 1923-1941

by Norman Hillmer

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Overview


O.D. Skelton: The Work of the World, 1923-1941 is a lively and compelling trip through the letters, diary entries, and official memoranda of O.D. Skelton, one of the most important and influential civil servants in twentieth-century Canada. Skelton was a towering foreign policy advisor to Canada's prime ministers and a lonely advocate for the country's independence from Great Britain. His accounts detail his work as he co-operated and clashed with William Lyon Mackenzie King and R.B. Bennett over Canada's participation in the international arena. Norman Hillmer's selection and assessment of Skelton's writings offer a behind-the-scenes look at the inner workings of the federal government as Skelton systematically built up the Department of External Affairs and the Canadian diplomatic service as instruments of the national interest, confronted the Manchurian, Ethiopian, and Czech crises of the 1930s, aligned himself with senior francophone politicians such as Ernest Lapointe and Raoul Dandurand, and watched in despair as Europe and Asia descended into war. Providing avenues into a time when Canada was struggling to define itself, this collection shows the ways in which O.D. Skelton pushed the country onto the global stage.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780773542723
Publisher: McGill-Queens University Press
Publication date: 10/24/2013
Pages: 548
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.80(d)

About the Author


Norman Hillmer is professor of history and international affairs at Carleton University. He is co-editor, with Adam Chapnick, of Canadas of the Mind: The Making and Unmaking of Canadian Nationalisms in the Twentieth Century.

Table of Contents

Abbreviations and Editorial Devices xiii

Dramatis Personae xv

Preface xix

Introduction 3

Documents

I The Imperial Conference of 1923 59

1 To Isabel, 8 July 1923 59

2 Canada and the Control of Foreign Policy, [August] 1923 60

3 Diary, 1 October-28 November 1923 74

II Counsellor Skelton, 1924-25 83

4 Diary, 17-20 July 1924 83

5 To Isabel, 9 September 1924 84

6 Notes on the Protocol of Geneva, 8 January 1925 86

III Succeeding Sir Joseph, 1925 124

7 To Isabel, 9 March 1925 124

8 To Mackenzie King, 11 March 1925 125

9 To Isabel, 1 April 1925 126

IV The Rhine is 3,000 Miles Away 128

10 Diary, 1 January 1926 128

11 The Locarno Treaties, 1 January 1926 129

12 Diary, 6-7 January 1926 148

V The Imperial Conference of 1926 150

13 To Isabel, 28 October 1926 150

14 To J.W. Dafoe, 8 January 1927 151

15 Notes on Imperial Conference, 1926, 20 January 1927 154

VI Washington, 1927: Massey and Massachusetts Avenue 160

16 Notes on Washington Legation Appropriations, [March] 1927 160

17 To Vincent Massey, 16 April 1927 166

VII The League of Nations, 1927 168

18 To Senator Raoul Dandurand, 21 May 1927 168

19 To Ernest Lapointe, 16 June 1927 170

20 Seat on Council of League of Nations, 13 July 1927 171

21 To Mackenzie King, 19 September 1927 172

22 To Mackenzie King, 27 September 1927 177

23 Diary, 13 December 1927 178

VIII The Renunciation of War, 1928 181

24 Multilateral Pact against War, [June] 1928 181

25 To Isabel, 22, 25, and 28 August 1928 186

IX Legislating Liberty, 1929 191

26 To Ernest Lapointe, 17 November 1928 191

27 To Mackenzie King, 12 October 1929 192

28 Notes on Conference on Operation of Dominion Legislation and Merchant Shipping, [December 1929] 196

29 Expense Account, 19 March 1930 217

X Change of Scene and Change of Government, 1929-30 219

30 To W.C. Clark, 17 July 1929 219

31 To Mackenzie King, 8 February 1930 221

32 Diary, 13 August-2 September 1930 222

XI Canada and the Pacific, 1931-33 225

33 Canadian Representation in the East, 8 July 1931 225

34 Diary, 23 September, 13 October, and 23 October 1931 232

35 To Herbert Marler, 23 January 1932 233

36 Diary, 29 January-2 March 1932 234

37 To Agnes Macphail, 4 March 1932 237

38 Diary, 4-9 March 1932 240

39 Manchurian Question, 29 November 1932 241

40 To Walter Riddell, 24 December 1932 243

41 To Walter Riddell, 7 January 1933 248

XII In London and Geneva, 1933 250

42 To Isabel, 13 February-31 March 1933 250

43 To R.B. Bennett, 31 March 1933 256

44 To Isabel, 4-7 April 1933 258

45 To R.B. Bennett, 7 April 1933 258

46 To W.L. Grant, 3 February 1934 260

XIII Experimenting with the Soviets, 1934 262

47 To Isabel, 16 and 18 September 1934 262

48 At the Sixth Committee of the League Assembly, 18 September 1934 264

49 To Isabel, 18 September 1934 265

50 To Isabel, 25 September 1934 266

XIV Commonwealth Prime Ministers' Conference of 1935 267

51 Foreign Policy Discussions in London, [April] 1935 267

XV Ethiopia and an Election, 1935 284

52 To W.D. Herridge, 23 August 1935 284

53 Application of Sanctions in Italo-Ethiopian Dispute, 26 August 1935 285

54 Italo-Ethiopian Question, 8 October 1935 294

55 To the Prime Minister's Secretary, 9 October 1935 298

56 Telephone Conversation with R.B. Bennett, 10 October 1935 300

57 To Mackenzie King, with Outstanding External Questions Memorandum, 24 October 1935 301

58 Statement to the Press, 29 October 1935 302

59 To Walter Riddell, 1 November 1935 304

60 To L.B. Pearson, 6 November 1935 305

61 To Laurent Beaudry, 26 November 1935 306

62 The House of Commons, 18 June 1936 307

XVI Peace (and Canada) in Jeopardy, 1936 314

63 Canada and the Rhineland, [March 1936] 314

64 Threats to Peace, [August] 1936 321

65 Memorandum for the Prime Minister (National Unity), 28 December 1936 323

XVII Diplomatic Representation, 1936-37 325

66 Canadian External Affairs Service, 16 January 1936 325

67 Expansion of Canada's External Affairs Service, 5 October 1937 327

XVIII The Imperial Conference of 1937 342

68 United Kingdom-United States Trade Agreement, 15 April 1937 342

69 Imperial Conference, [April] 1937 346

70 To E.A. Pickering, 24 June 1937 352

71 Memorandum for the Prime Minister (Paris Speech), 17 July 1937 354

72 To Isabel, 23 July 1937 356

XIX The Czech Crisis, 1938 357

73 Diary, 20-24 May 1938 357

74 European Situation, 3 September 1938 360

75 To the Prime Minister, 14 September 1938 361

76 Diary, 23-24 September 1938 362

77 Memorandum for the Prime Minister (in Case of War), 24 September 1938 365

78 Diary, 25 September-2 October 1938 366

79 After the Munich Agreement, 3 October 1938 372

80 A Fable (1938 Model), October 1938 377

81 Canadian Defence, 14 November 1938 379

XX A Great Country Not Bound by Pledges, January-March 1939 382

82 Munich and After, [January 1939] 382

83 Memorandum for the Prime Minister (Guesses and Rumours), 27 January 1939 387

84 Memorandum for the Prime Minister (Preventive Wars), 30 January 1939 389

85 European Situation, 9 March 1939 390

86 Memoranda to the Prime Minister (Czech Occupation), 20 March 1939 392

87 Memorandum (German Consul), 22 March 1939 400

XXI Automatic Belligerency - or Not, March 1939 404

88 To H.H. Wrong, 2 March 1939 404

89 To H.H. Wrong, 4 March 1939 407

XXII When the Devil Is Loose, April-August 1939 421

90 Memorandum for the Prime Minister (German Consul General), 14 April 1939 421

91 Developments in the European Situation since March 31st, 10 May 1939 422

92 Danzig Coup, 5 July 1939 431

93 Memorandum for the Prime Minister (Nazi-Soviet Pact), 22 August 1939 433

94 Canadian War Policy, 24 August 1939 434

XXIII Stampede over the Edge, August-September 1939 437

95 Canada and the Polish War, 25 August 1939 437

96 Confidential (Not Our War), [10 September 1939] 443

XXIV War Aims, October-November 1939 449

97 Mock Communiqué on Air Training, 1 October 1939 449

98 Memorandum for the Prime Minister (Air Training), 7 October 1939 450

99 Memorandum for the Prime Minister (Responding to Hitler), 10 October 1939 451

100 Memorandum for the Prime Minister (Canada's War Effort), 23 October 1939 453

101 French War Aims, 25 October 1939 454

102 War Aims, 8 November 1939 455

XXV Adversaries and Allies, and Those in Between, December 1939-January 1941 459

103 Japanese Attitude, 1 December 1939 459

104 Subversive Activities, 13 December 1939 461

105 Memorandum for the Prime Minister (Un-American Activities), 15 January 1940 462

106 To Mackenzie King, 27 March 1940 464

107 The Present Outlook, 30 April 1940 465

108 Draft Telegram to Winston Churchill (At the Side of Britain and France), 29 May 1940 471

109 To Isabel and Her Mother, 30-31 May and 6 June 1940 475

110 Notes on the Far Eastern Situation, 9 July [1940] 477

111 League of Nations, 3 August 1940 479

112 Notes to the Prime Minister (Ogdensburg Agreement), 19 August 1940 480

113 Note to the Prime Minister, with Draft Telegram to Winston Churchill (North American Defence), 28 August 1940 480

114 Memorandum for the Prime Minister (Canadian Japanese), 30 September 1940 482

115 Memorandum for the Prime Minister (Allied Governments Meeting), 2 November 1940 482

116 To Mackenzie King, 17 December 1940 484

117 Memorandum for the Prime Minister (Frank Underhill), 7 January 1941 484

118 Cabinet War Committee, 28 January 1941 485

Bibliography 487

Index 493

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