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A Real Companion and Friend:
The diary of William Lyon Mackenzie King

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Behind the Diary

A King's Who's Who Biographies

Raoul Dandurand (1861-1942)

Raoul Dandurand

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Raoul Dandurand

Raoul Dandurand, a Montreal lawyer, was appointed to the Senate in 1898. In 1921, when Mackenzie King formed his first Cabinet, he named Dandurand a minister without portfolio, and Dandurand served in all the King administrations from then until his death in 1942. King had great respect for him.

Raoul Dandurand, a Montreal lawyer, was appointed to the Senate in 1898 and served as Speaker of the Senate from 1905 to 1909. In 1921, when Mackenzie King formed his first Cabinet, he appointed Dandurand a Minister without Portfolio, and Dandurand served in all the King ministries for the rest of his life. He was also President of the League of Nations Assembly in 1925 and Canadian delegate to the League from 1927 to 1930.

King had great respect for Dandurand and consulted him, in particular, on Quebec issues. After the death of Ernest Lapointe, Dandurand was involved in the consultations that led to the choosing of Louis St. Laurent to replace Lapointe as King's Quebec Lieutenant. J.W. Pickersgill described King's regard for Dandurand as "an affection almost approaching veneration."

Dandurand died suddenly on March 11, 1942. King wrote: "It was a marvellous way for a man's life to end. To have lived to be over 80, still leading the Upper Chamber as government leader; ...active, keen, useful to the end. Dandurand's passing leaves me as the only member of the original Cabinet I formed in 1921." (Diary, March 11, 1942)

Library and Archives Canada holds some papers of the Dandurand-Marchand family, including Raoul Dandurand (MG27-IIIB3).