Frederick Charles Alderdice

Frederick Charles Alderdice, businessman, politician (b at Belfast, Ire 10 Nov 1872: d at St John's 26 Feb 1936). He was twice prime minister of Newfoundland, August-November 1928 and June 1932-February 1934, and the last person to hold that office before confederation with Canada.

Alderdice, Frederick Charles

Frederick Charles Alderdice, businessman, politician (b at Belfast, Ire 10 Nov 1872: d at St John's 26 Feb 1936). He was twice prime minister of Newfoundland, August-November 1928 and June 1932-February 1934, and the last person to hold that office before confederation with Canada. A prominent St John's businessman, he entered the Legislative Council in 1924 and assumed the Liberal-Conservative Party leadership and the prime ministership on the retirement of Walter MONROE in 1928. Alderdice was defeated by Richard SQUIRES in the ensuing general election but remained leader of the opposition United Newfoundland Party.

Newfoundland had been in financial difficulties since WWI and by 1932 international credit had all but disappeared. On 5 April 1932, in a climate of unemployment, widespread distress and accusations of government misconduct, there was rioting in St John's outside the legislature. The House was subsequently prorogued, and in the June elections Alderdice's party defeated Squires' 25 seats to 2.

With Newfoundland facing imminent bankruptcy, Alderdice appealed to Britain for financial aid and the appointment of a royal commission to consider Newfoundland's future. The resulting Amulree Report of 1933 recommended the temporary suspension of responsible government. The Newfoundland legislature agreed, and on 16 February 1934 a COMMISSION OF GOVERNMENT composed of 3 Newfoundlanders, 3 Britishers and the governor was instituted and continued for 15 years . Alderdice was appointed a commissioner.