Bennett, Richard Bedford

Bennett, Richard Bedford, 1870–1947, Canadian prime minister, b. Hopewell, N.B. In 1927 he succeeded Arthur Meighen as leader of the Conservative party; upon the defeat of the Liberals in 1930, he became prime minister. At the imperial conference in London in 1930, he strongly urged a preferential tariff for the empire; at the conference held in Ottawa in 1932, over which he presided, his policy was partly adopted with the signing of 12 separate trade agreements of Great Britain with the dominions and of the dominions with each other. As prime minister during the depression, Bennett proposed social legislation in 1934 to lessen the widespread dissatisfaction with his government. Nevertheless, his Conservative party was defeated in 1935 and Bennett resigned. He was leader of the opposition until 1938, when he retired from politics and went to live in England. In 1941 he was raised to the peerage as 1st Viscount Bennett of Calgary, of Mickleham, and of Hopewell.

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