League for Social Reconstruction

 League for Social Reconstruction, organization of left-wing intellectuals, founded 1931-32 in Montréal and Toronto, largely in response to the GREAT DEPRESSION. Although it soon had almost 20 branches elsewhere in Ontario and the West, the founding branches proved the longest lived and most active in political education. Led by historian Frank UNDERHILL and law professor F.R. SCOTT, the LSR was critical of monopoly capitalism and demanded economic change by parliamentary means. Never formally linked with a political party, it made its sympathies clear with the annual re-election of J.S. WOODSWORTH as its honorary president.

The Regina Manifesto (1933) of the CO-OPERATIVE COMMONWEALTH FEDERATION was largely written by LSR members. The league's ideas found fullest expression in the books Social Planning for Canada (1935) and Democracy Needs Socialism (1938), and in the CANADIAN FORUM, acquired in 1936. Disillusionment with SOCIALISM in the late 1930s weakened the LSR. WWII and the increased organizational demands of the CCF led to the LSR's quiet demise in 1942. Its influence on the CCF was great; its influence on Canada is still a matter for speculation.