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Stuart Garson

Stuart Garson
12th Premier of Manitoba
In office
January 14, 1943 – November 13, 1948
MonarchGeorge VI
Lieutenant GovernorRoland F. McWilliams
Preceded byJohn Bracken
Succeeded byDouglas Lloyd Campbell
Member of the Legislative Assembly of Manitoba for Fairford
In office
June 28, 1927 – November 13, 1948
Preceded byAlbert Kirvan
Succeeded byJames Anderson
Member of Parliament
for Marquette
In office
December 20, 1948 – June 10, 1957
Preceded byJames Allison Glen
Succeeded byNick Mandziuk
Personal details
Stuart Sinclair Garson

(1898-12-01)December 1, 1898
St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada
DiedMay 5, 1977(1977-05-05) (aged 78)
Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
Political partyFederal: Liberal
Provincial: Progressive (1927-1932)
Liberal-Progressive (1932-1948)
Emily Topper
(m. 1933)
RelationsWilliam Garson (father)
Children2 daughters
ResidenceAshern, Manitoba
Alma materUniversity of Manitoba
CabinetProvincial Treasurer (1936–1948)
Minister Manitoba Power Commission (1940–1944)
Minister Public Utilities (1941–1944)
President of the Council (1943–1948)
Minister Dominion-Provincial Relations (1943–1948)
Solicitor General of Canada (1950–1952)
Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada (1948–1957)

Stuart Sinclair Garson PC CC QC (December 1, 1898 – May 5, 1977) was a Canadian politician and lawyer. He served as the 12th premier of Manitoba from 1943 to 1948, and later became a Federal cabinet minister.

Life and career

Born in St. Catharines, Ontario, the son of William Garson and Margaret Annable, Garson came to Manitoba with his parents in 1901. He received a Bachelor of Law degree from the University of Manitoba in 1918 and was called to the bar a year later. He practised law in Ashern, Manitoba, from 1919 to 1928. Garson was first elected to the Legislative Assembly of Manitoba for the riding of Fairford in 1927 as a Progressive, defeating incumbent Liberal Albert Kirvan. He defeated again Kirvan in 1932, and faced only minor competition for the remainder of his time in the Manitoba legislature. In early 1932, Garson was one of the founding members of the province's Liberal-Progressive coalition.

Garson was sworn in as provincial Treasurer on September 21, 1936. He also became minister of the Manitoba Power Commission on November 4, 1940, and Minister of Public Utilities on May 15, 1941. He continued to hold all of these positions after succeeding John Bracken as Premier on January 14, 1943. He resigned the MPC and Utilities portfolios in 1944.

Garson's government was perhaps slightly more interventionist than those of Bracken and his eventual successor Douglas Campbell. Garson's ministry began a program of rapid rural electrification, and made some effort to service the needs of returning soldiers after World War II. All the same, he rejected demands from the Manitoba Co-operative Commonwealth Federation to introduce programs in public housing and old-age pensions.

Under Garson's leadership, the "Liberal-Progressive" alliance became a united party—albeit one that was dominated by former Progressive politicians. His ministry also retained close ties to the federal Liberal government of William Lyon Mackenzie King.

Garson moved to federal politics in 1948, at the behest of new Liberal Prime Minister Louis St. Laurent. On November 15, 1948, Garson was sworn in as Minister of Justice and Attorney General; he was elected to the federal parliament in a by-election for the rural seat of Marquette the next month. For the next nine years, Garson would be the dominant cabinet minister from Manitoba in St. Laurent's government. He also served as Solicitor General of Canada from August 7, 1950, to October 14, 1952.

Garson lost his seat in 1957, the year that Progressive Conservative leader John Diefenbaker formed a minority government. Indeed, Diefenbaker's Tories won victory mainly by ousting many Liberal MPs from the Prairies, including Garson. He retired from political life. In 1971, he was made a Companion of the Order of Canada.

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Stuart Garson
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