File 30 - King, William Lyon Mackenzie to Arthur King.

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King, William Lyon Mackenzie to Arthur King.

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Biographical history

"William Lyon Mackenzie King had a long political career. He was leader of the Liberal Party for 29 eventful years through the buoyant expansion of the 1920s, the depression of the 1930s, the shock of World War II, and then the post-war reconstruction, and for 21 of these years he was Canada’s prime minister. His decisions during this time contributed significantly to the shaping of Canada and to its development as an influential middle power in world affairs. During his lifetime his achievements were sometimes obscured by a style notable for its compromises. After his death his political career was sometimes overshadowed by the revelation of his unsuspected personal idiosyncrasies."

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Typewritten letter marked "Personal" from William Lyon Mackenzie King to his nephew Arthur King on February 25, 1947 expressing anxiety about Arthur's "new apartment and removal to Toronto," and asking for specific details about his new home. Arthur had apparently been assisted in finding living quarters through D.B. Mansur, president of the Central Mortgage and Housing Corporation and "Mr. Handy" and King expresses surprise that Arthur has not yet followed up with them: "As soon as I learned of the change you had been able to effect in apartments, I rang up Mr. Mansur and thanked him personally for his kind intervention. I am sure that but for his personal interest in the matter and Mr. Handy's kind interest in advance, you would have had real difficulty in securing any quarters."
Footnote: "let me suggest that you visit Mr Mansur [&] Mr Handy without delay. But for their good office you might be very badly off. W"
King then addresses everyone's state of health and reminds Arthur that he must "do all that is in your power to prove your qualifications for the position you now have and to ensure advancement in the future;" also that "Toronto is a nice city in which to live and you will have opportunities of personal and business contacts there much greater than are likely to come elsewhere. I am sure you will make the most of them."
Includes handwritten correction.
Salutation: "My dear Arthur" [handwritten]; Signature: "With love to both, Yours affectionately, Uncle Willie" [handwritten].

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Donated by John English in 2019.


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  • English

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Letter: 3 leaves ; 25 x 20 cm. Printed letterhead: Laurier House, Ottawa

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Described May 2019 by JSB.

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  • English

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