Hugh Llewellyn Keenleyside

Hugh Llewellyn Keenleyside, academic, public servant, diplomat (b at Toronto 7 July 1898; d 27 Sept 1992). Only 7 months after joining the Dept. of External Affairs in September 1928, Keenleyside was posted to Tokyo 1929-36, where he assisted in opening Canada's first legation in Japan.

Keenleyside, Hugh Llewellyn

Hugh Llewellyn Keenleyside, academic, public servant, diplomat (b at Toronto 7 July 1898; d 27 Sept 1992). Only 7 months after joining the Dept. of External Affairs in September 1928, Keenleyside was posted to Tokyo 1929-36, where he assisted in opening Canada's first legation in Japan. During World War II he was secretary (1940), then chairman (Canadian Section) in 1944 of the PERMANENT JOINT BOARD ON DEFENCE as well as a cofounder 1939-42 of the Ottawa college later to become Carleton University.

Throughout the war Keenleyside maintained an uncompromising opposition to the incarceration and the suspension of rights of the Canadian Japanese. He served as the nation's first ambassador to Mexico 1944-47, but then left the department, disillusioned with diplomatic life. Returning to the public service, he was named deputy of mines and resources and commissioner of the NWT, 1947-50, and director-general, UN Technical Assistance Administration, 1950-58.

Chairman of the BC Power Commission 1959-62 and the BC Hydro and Power Authority 1962-69, he was deeply involved in the COLUMBIA RIVER TREATY negotiations. Keenleyside wrote Canada and the United States (1929, rev ed 1952) and 2 impressive volumes of Memoirs (1981-82). He received the Pearson Peace Medal of the UN Assn of Canada (1982). Shortly before his death the University of British Columbia established an endowment in his name for studies in Canadian diplomacy.


Further Reading

  • Keenleyside, Hugh L. Memoirs: Hammer the Golden Day (Volume 1, 1981); Keenleyside, Hugh L. Memoirs: On the Bridge of Time (Volume 2, 1982); and Globe and Mail, September 30, 1992.