Guide to Canadian Ministries since Confederation

The Ministries


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Seventeenth Ministry

Liberal 1
15 Nov. 1948 - 21 June 1957

Prime Minister
Right Honourable Louis Stephen St-Laurent 2

The Ministry
Position Title
NameService Date /
Termination Date
Minister of Agriculture
Rt Hon. James Garfield Gardiner 15 Nov. 1948 - 21 June 1957

Minister of Citizenship and Immigration3
Hon. Walter Edward Harris 4 18 Jan. 1950 - 30 June 1954
Hon. John Whitney Pickersgill 1 July 1954 - 21 June 1957

Minister of Defence Production5
Rt Hon. Clarence Decatur Howe 6 1 April 1951 - 21 June 1957

Secretary of State for External Affairs
Hon. Lester Bowles Pearson 15 Nov. 1948 - 21 June 1957

Minister of Finance and Receiver General
Hon. Douglas Charles Abbott 15 Nov. 1948 - 30 June 1954
Hon. Walter Edward Harris 1 July 1954 - 21 June 1957

Minister of Fisheries
Hon. Robert Wellington Mayhew 15 Nov. 1948 - 14 Oct. 1952
Hon. James Sinclair 15 Oct. 1952 - 21 June 1957

Minister of Justice and Attorney General7
Hon. Stuart Sinclair Garson 15 Nov. 1948 - 21 June 1957

Minister of Labour
Hon. Humphrey Mitchell 15 Nov. 1948 - 2 Aug. 1950
Hon. Paul Joseph James Martin Acting Minister 3 Aug. 1950 - 6 Aug. 1950
Hon. Milton Fowler Gregg 7 Aug. 1950 - 21 June 1957

Minister of Mines and Resources3
Hon. James Angus MacKinnon 8 15 Nov. 1948 - 31 March 1949
Hon. Colin William George Gibson 1 April 1949 - 17 Jan. 1950

Minister of Mines and Technical Surveys3
Hon. James Joseph McCann 9 18 Jan. 1950 - 12 Dec. 1950
Hon. George Prudham 13 Dec. 1950 - 21 June 1957

Minister without Portfolio
Hon. Wishart McLea Robertson Senator 15 Nov. 1948 - 13 Oct. 1953
Hon. James Angus MacKinnon Senator 1 April 1949 - 13 Dec. 1950
Hon. William Ross Macdonald Senator 10 14 Oct. 1953 - 11 Jan. 1954

Associate Minister of National Defence11
Vacant 11 Feb. 1953 - 11 Feb. 1953
Hon. Ralph Osborne Campney 12 12 Feb. 1953 - 30 June 1954
Vacant 1 July 1954 - 25 April 1957
Hon. Paul Theodore Hellyer 26 April 1957 - 21 June 1957

Minister of National Defence7  11  13
Hon. Brooke Claxton 15 Nov. 1948 - 30 June 1954
Hon. Ralph Osborne Campney 12 1 July 1954 - 21 June 1957

Minister of National Health and Welfare
Hon. Paul Joseph James Martin 15 Nov. 1948 - 21 June 1957

Minister of National Revenue
Hon. James Joseph McCann 9 15 Nov. 1948 - 21 June 1957

Minister of Northern Affairs and National Resources14
Hon. Jean Lesage 16 Dec. 1953 - 21 June 1957

Postmaster General
Hon. Ernest Bertrand 15 Nov. 1948 - 23 Aug. 1949
Vacant 24 Aug. 1949 - 24 Aug. 1949
Hon. Gabriel Édouard Rinfret 25 Aug. 1949 - 12 Feb. 1952
Hon. Alcide Côté 13 Feb. 1952 - 7 Aug. 1955
Vacant 8 Aug. 1955 - 15 Aug. 1955
Hon. Roch Pinard Acting Minister 16 Aug. 1955 - 2 Nov. 1955
Hon. Hugues Lapointe 15 3 Nov. 1955 - 21 June 1957

President of the Privy Council
Rt Hon. Louis Stephen St-Laurent 15 Nov. 1948 - 24 April 1957
Hon. Lionel Chevrier 25 April 1957 - 21 June 1957

Minister of Public Works
Hon. Alphonse Fournier 15 Nov. 1948 - 11 June 1953
Hon. Walter Edward Harris Acting Minister 12 June 1953 - 16 Sept. 1953
Hon. Robert Henry Winters 17 Sept. 1953 - 21 June 1957

Minister of Reconstruction and Supply3
Hon. Robert Henry Winters 16 15 Nov. 1948 - 17 Jan. 1950

Minister of Resources and Development3
Hon. Robert Henry Winters 17 18 Jan. 1950 - 16 Sept. 1953
Hon. Jean Lesage 18 17 Sept. 1953 - 15 Dec. 1953

Secretary of State of Canada19
Hon. Colin William George Gibson 20 15 Nov. 1948 - 31 March 1949
Hon. Frederick Gordon Bradley 1 April 1949 - 11 June 1953
Hon. John Whitney Pickersgill 21 12 June 1953 - 30 June 1954
Hon. Roch Pinard 1 July 1954 - 21 June 1957

Solicitor General of Canada7  13  11
Hon. Joseph Jean 15 Nov. 1948 - 23 Aug. 1949
Vacant 24 Aug. 1949 - 24 Aug. 1949
Hon. Hugues Lapointe 15 25 Aug. 1949 - 6 Aug. 1950
Hon. Stuart Sinclair Garson 7 Aug. 1950 - 14 Oct. 1952
Hon. Ralph Osborne Campney 12 15 Oct. 1952 - 11 Jan. 1954
Hon. William Ross Macdonald Senator 12 Jan. 1954 - 21 June 1957

Minister of Trade and Commerce
Rt Hon. Clarence Decatur Howe 6 15 Nov. 1948 - 21 June 1957

Minister of Transport
Hon. Lionel Chevrier 22 15 Nov. 1948 - 30 June 1954
Hon. George Carlyle Marler 1 July 1954 - 21 June 1957

Minister of Veterans Affairs
Hon. Milton Fowler Gregg 23 15 Nov. 1948 - 6 Aug. 1950
Hon. Hugues Lapointe 15 7 Aug. 1950 - 21 June 1957

Footnotes

  • [1] On November 15, 1948 King resigned as Prime Minister and President of the Privy Council. On the same day the Seventeenth Ministry assumed office. It included eighteen ministers from the Sixteenth Ministry, seventeen of whom retained their previous portfolios. Howe dropped one of his: Reconstruction and Supply.
  • [2] St-Laurent was also President of the Privy Council.
  • [3] The offices of Minister of Mines and Resources and Minister of Reconstruction and Supply were abolished by Statute 13 Geo. VI, c. 18, and the offices of the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration, Minister of Mines and Technical Surveys and Minister of Resources and Development created by Statutes 13 Geo. VI, c. 16, 17 and 18 respectively, each assented to on December 10, 1949 and proclaimed in force on January 18, 1950.
  • [4] Harris was appointed Minister of Finance and Receiver General on July 1, 1954.
  • [5] The office of Minister of Defence Production was created by Statute 15 Geo. VI, c. 4, assented to on March 21, 1951 and proclaimed in force on April 1, 1951.
  • [6] Howe was appointed Minister of Trade and Commerce on November 15, 1948; and Minister of Defence Production on April 1, 1951.
  • [7] By Order in Council dated August 7, 1950, pursuant to the Public Service Rearrangement and Transfer of Duties Act, the powers, duties and functions of the Solicitor General of Canada were transferred to the Minister of Justice and Attorney General, and were exercised by him until October 14, 1952.
  • [8] MacKinnon was appointed Minister without Portfolio on April 1, 1949.
  • [9] McCann was appointed Minister of National Revenue on November 15, 1948; and Minister of Mines and Technical Surveys on January 18, 1950.
  • [10] Macdonald was appointed Solicitor General of Canada on January 12, 1954.
  • [11] Statute 1-2 Eliz. II, c. 6, assented to on February 11, 1953, amended the National Defence Act to provide for the appointment at any time of an Associate Minister of National Defence. Previously the Act had provided for the appointment of three additional Ministers of National Defence and three Associate Ministers of National Defence only during an emergency.
  • [12] Campney was appointed Solicitor General of Canada on October 15, 1952; Associate Minister of National Defence on February 12, 1953; and Minister of National Defence on July 1, 1954.
  • [13] The National Defence Act of 1950 (Statute 14 Geo. VI, c. 43) provided for the designation by the Governor in Council of any other person in addition to the Minister of National Defence to exercise any power or perform any duty or function vested in the Minister of National Defence. By Order in Council dated November 24, 1952, the Solicitor General of Canada was so designated and exercised that function until February 12, 1953. See Associate Minister of National Defence.
  • [14] The office of Minister of Resources and Development was abolished and the office of Minister of Northern Affairs and National Resources created by Statute 2-3 Eliz. II, c. 4, and assented to on December 16, 1953.
  • [15] Lapointe was appointed Sollicitor General on August 25, 1949; Minister of Veterans Affairs on August 7, 1950; and Postmaster General on November 3, 1955.
  • [16] Winters was appointed Minister of Resources and Development on January 18, 1950.
  • [17] Winters was appointed Minister of Public Works on September 17, 1953.
  • [18] Lesage was appointed Minister of Northern Affairs and National Resources on December 16, 1953.
  • [19] The Secretary of State of Canada was ex officio the Registrar General of Canada.
  • [20] Gibson was appointed Minister of Mines and Resources on April 1, 1949.
  • [21] Pickersgill was appointed Minister of Citizenship and Immigration on July 1, 1954.
  • [22] Chevrier rejoined the Ministry as President of the Privy Council on April 25, 1957.
  • [23] Gregg was appointed Minister of Labour on August 7, 1950.