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Highlights from the Parliamentary Life of the Right Honourable William Lyon Mackenzie King

Accession number: 
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Film Properties: 
Length (feet): 
850 (35mm); 340 (16mm)
Length (minutes): 
Holding Institutions: 

Library and Archives Canada: 35mm, 16mm, VHS.
"A review of the Parliamentary career of Prime Minister Mackenzie King compiled from contemporary news films. Compilation opens with a still picture of the old Parliament Building. Cut to King at a comparatively young age, wearing boater. In 1927, he is shown hosting the Prince of Wales. Dressed in a resplendent uniform, the Prime Minister delivers a speech on the occasion of Canada's 60th birthday. On a visit to Barrie, King poses with his sister and her family. Provincial premiers and the P.M. pose on the occasion of the 1935 Provincial Conference. In 1938, King welcomes Cordell Hull, U.S. Secretary of State. King and F.D. Roosevelt are given honorary degrees at Queen's University convocation. In his speech, the President assures his audience that the US will fight anyone threatening Canada. Afterwards, the two leaders open the Ivy Lea Bridge. The Prime Minister welcomes George VI and Queen Elizabeth at the beginning of their 1939 visit to Canada. As war begins in Europe, King and the Cabinet enter Parliament to declare war on the Axis. At various times during the courses of the war, King poses with Lord Riverdale and the British mission when he announces the creation of the Commonwealth Air Training Plan, signs the National Registration Act, visits troops in England and the Boundary Bay, B.C., air training school.
In Calgary in 1941, King takes the salute of a Militia regiment. In Ottawa, he lays a wreath at the War Memorial. In 1942, he unveils a memorial to Wilfred Laurier at St-Lin, Laurier's birthplace. King is shown with the President of the United States, Franklin D. Roosevelt, and Prime Minister Winston Churchill on the occasion of the two Quebec Conferences, 1943 and 1944. A testimonial dinner is given for King on the occasion of the 25th anniversary of his election in 1919. Reference is made to the 1945 election when the Liberals are returned to power. The Prime Minister bids farewell to Lord Athlone and Lady Athlone at the end of their tenure at Rideau Hall. King then welcomes the new Governor General, Viscount Alexander of Tunis. In 1947, legislation is enacted creating Canadian Citizenship. King is the first to get his Citizenship certificate. When President Truman visits Canada, the Prime Minister and the Governor General pose with him during the welcoming ceremonies. Seen is the 1948 opening of Parliament, and to the interior of the House of Commons. King is shown welcoming Barbara Ann Scott on her return from winning the Olympic Gold Medal for figure skating. King is seen delivering his last address to fellow Liberals at the 1948 Liberal Leadership Convention."

"This is a motion picture biography about William Lyon Mackenzie King's political life. Associated Screen News Limited (ASN), a Montreal-based film production company, compiled this film from its collection of newsreel footage, probably to be used as a tribute upon King's retirement. From the 1920s to 1957, ASN shot Canadian newsreel stories for use in newsreels shown in Canadian theatres and internationally. This rare and early example of documentary film made during a prime minister's lifetime has a laudatory tone. It excludes mention of any controversial events, such as the King-Byng incident of 1926, the Second World War conscription crisis or the Igor Gouzenko spy scandal" (Library and Archives Canada).