Ralston, James Layton (rôlˈstən) [key], 1881–1948, Canadian cabinet minister, b. Nova Scotia. In the first Mackenzie King administration, he was minister of national defense (1926–30); in the second Mackenzie King government, he was made minister of finance (1939) but was transferred in 1940 to the post of minister of defense. When his demand that the cabinet invoke military conscription was rejected, Ralston resigned in Nov., 1944; the policy was shortly put in force by his successor, A. G. L. McNaughton.
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