John Diefenbaker entered the University of Saskatchewan College of Law in 1916, and was called to the Saskatchewan Bar in June, 1919. Upon graduating he opened a private practice in Wakaw, Saskatchewan and carried on a busy practice until 1924 when he moved to Prince Albert. The Wakaw office was managed by a succession of partners until its closure in 1929. Diefenbaker worked privately and in partnership until the early 1940s when he established a partnership with John Cuelenaere. They were joined by Roy Hall in 1947 and by Clyne Harradence in 1955. After his election to the House of Commons in 1940, legal material was forwarded to Ottawa. This arrangement continued until 1956 when he was elected leader of the Progressive Conservative Party, and he thus gave up his legal practice. Diefenbaker became a King’s Counsel in 1929, and was also a member of the Bars of Alberta, British Columbia and Upper Canada.
This series contains those papers accumulated by John Diefenbaker in the course of his legal practice, although records are incomplete.
This subseries contains general subject files about Progressive Conservative party affairs within the constituency, and requests from constituents for assistance in dealing with the federal government in matters of pensions, unemployment and taxation. Election files from the constituency are filed with the general election files.
Burton Taylor Richardson was a journalist, born in Manitoba in 1906. He was editor of the Toronto Telegram from 1953 to 1962 and special assistant to John Diefenbaker from 1963 to 1966. He wrote Canada and Mr. Diefenbaker in 1962 and briefly helped Diefenbaker with his own memoirs.
This series contains reference material assembled by Burton T. Richardson while serving as Diefenbaker’s special assistant.
This subseries contains correspondence dealing with such subjects as: trips and engagements; requests and appeals; the House of Commons; Royal Commissions; elections; the Progressive Conservative Party; law; resources; health and welfare; transportation and communication; and Canada’s foreign relations.
This subseries contains reference material and correspondence with heads of state, members of federal and provincial governments, prominent Canadians, and friends of Diefenbaker. Issues referred to include: government scandals; the economy; unification of the armed forces; the flag; elections; Quebec; Canada Pension Plan; Medicare; Expo ’67; unity and leadership of the Progressive Conservative party; and foreign affairs, particularly Canada-U.S. relations.
This series contains reference material collected by John Diefenbaker and his staff from 1940, when he was elected to Parliament, to 1957, when he became Prime Minister. A wide range of political and social subjects, both Canadian and international, are present.
This subseries contains original and photocopied documents from other series and additional notes used in writing Diefenbaker’s memoirs. There is also apparently routine material from the late 1970s which was filed with the memoirs series. Files E/1 - E/63 were arranged by the research staff in the alpha-numeric system used by the Prime Minister’s office. Files E/64 - E/219 were similarly arranged, but do not exactly conform to the PMO filing system. Files E/220 - E/222 contain documents on defence which were pulled and arranged chronologically by Gerald Haslam in 1968. Files E/223 - E/233 were labelled in the hand of Archie McQueen, Diefenbaker’s assistant at the time Diefenbaker’s death.