Henry Herbert Stevens

Henry Herbert Stevens, politician, businessman (b at Bristol, Eng 8 Dec 1878; d at Vancouver 14 June 1973). An MP for nearly 30 years, he was one of the most controversial figures in Canadian politics in the 1930s.

Stevens, Henry Herbert

Henry Herbert Stevens, politician, businessman (b at Bristol, Eng 8 Dec 1878; d at Vancouver 14 June 1973). An MP for nearly 30 years, he was one of the most controversial figures in Canadian politics in the 1930s. First elected to Parliament in 1911 as the Conservative member for Vancouver City, he was a minister in the MEIGHEN governments (1921, 1926) and minister of trade and commerce (1930-34) in R.B. BENNETT'S government (as member for E Kootenay). In 1934 he was made chairman of a royal commission on price spreads after an inquiry he had headed exposed serious abuses by big business. Stevens embarrassed Bennett by attacking large-business interests and calling for drastic reform, and later resigned from Cabinet and the commission chairmanship. Stevens formed the Reconstruction Party in 1935, hoping to protect the "little man" against economic abuse and the GREAT DEPRESSION. Though his party took nearly 10% of the popular vote in the 1935 election, Stevens was its only successful candidate. He returned to the Conservative caucus in 1939. After 3 election defeats and an unsuccessful bid to become the Tory leader in 1942, Stevens turned to full-time business interests in Vancouver.