Pope, Sir Joseph

Sir Joseph Pope, public servant, External Affairs (b at Charlottetown, PEI 16 Aug 1854; d at Ottawa 2 Dec 1926), son of W.H. Pope, brother of Georgina Pope. After early experience in Prince Edward Island government and banking, he came to Ottawa in 1878 as private secretary to his uncle, James Colledge Pope. He served as secretary to Sir John A. Macdonald, 1882-91, and wrote his biography (2 vols, 1894). He was under-secretary of state, 1896-1909, responsible for the conduct of Canada's early relations with foreign states. He persuaded the government of Sir Wilfrid Laurier to establish a department, 1909, to assemble documents, draft correspondence, provide advice and conduct negotiations regarding Canada's external relations; he was first permanent head of the Department of External Affairs (now FOREIGN AFFAIRS AND INTERNATIONAL TRADE) 1909-25. He assisted in resolution of many bilateral issues with the US, including the ALASKA BOUNDARY DISPUTE. Unsympathetic to the advances in Canada's status externally, Pope was nonetheless a loyal and competent public servant, a respected adviser to prime ministers from Macdonald to King.