Thursday, 21 November 2013

Parliamentary Debates - Update

Great news for political historians and political junkies. A few months ago I wrote about how the reconstructed parliamentary debates from the 19th century were now available online.

Now I see from the Canadian Historical Association's voxhistorica that all of Canada's parliamentary debates are now - finally - online. What a great resource. You can find them at the Library of Parliament's website here.

I'm in the midst of sorting out the King-Byng fiasco of 1926 so I immediately went to look up the place in 1927 when King was obliged to hand over the letter he had written submitting his resignation to Byng in 1926.

King went all across the country in 1926 campaigning against 'Downing Street' interference - that is interference from the British Government in Canadian affairs. He won the election and King-Byng became yet another gem in the glorious Liberal story of Canada's rise from colony to nation.

Only problem? In his letter of resignation, King wrote that he had urged Byng, and continued to urge him, to consult the British government before he made a decision. The letter only emerged after King won the election. It did little good. But it's a marvellous instance of a politician having to face his own dishonesty.

Of course, King was well used to this and to read him adroitly squirming out of any wrongdoing is both amazing and disgusting.

And now I can read this from my own house. Great resource.

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