Brian Brooke Claxton
Brian Brooke Claxton, lawyer, politician (b at Montréal 23 Aug 1898; d at Ottawa 13 June 1960). He attended Lower Canada College and McGill, graduating with an LLB in 1921, the year he began to practise law. During WWI he had served overseas with the 10th Siege Battery. He was active in many organizations, including the Canadian Clubs, the Canadian Radio League, the League of Nations Society, and the Canadian Institute of International Affairs, and he taught insurance law at McGill. Claxton was elected as a Liberal to represent St Lawrence/St George in 1940 and was soon appointed parliamentary secretary to Prime Minister King.
While minister of health and welfare he was responsible for the introduction of family allowances, and as minister of defence he supervised the rebuilding of the Canadian armed forces during and after the Korean War. He also helped negotiate Newfoundland's entry into Confederation in 1949. In 1954 he retired from politics to become general manager of Metropolitan Life and in 1957 was appointed first chairman of the Canada Council, a recognition of his major role in bringing the government more broadly into support for the arts.