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Andrew Haydon, ca. 1930
Andrew Haydon, a lawyer and influential Liberal, was Secretary of the National Liberal Convention held in Ottawa in 1919, and General Secretary of the National Liberal Organization Committee from 1920 to 1922. He became a Senator in 1924. A loyal supporter of Mackenzie King, he was responsible for collecting and distributing campaign funds for the Liberal Party, and was one of King's most trusted advisers.
Andrew Haydon, a lawyer and senator, was born in Pakenham, Ontario, on June 28, 1867. He attended local schools before gaining admission to Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario, obtaining an M.A. (1893) and an LL.B (1895). He continued his studies at Osgoode Hall Law School in Toronto, where he graduated in 1897, and was called to the Bar shortly thereafter. Five years later, on September 24, 1902, he married Euphemia Macdonald Scott. They had one son, Andrew Scott Haydon.
Haydon practised law, first in Lanark, Ontario, from 1897 to 1899, and then in Ottawa. He was Secretary of the National Liberal Convention held in Ottawa in 1919, and General Secretary of the National Liberal Organization Committee from 1920 to 1922. Having become an influential figure in the Liberal Party, Haydon was called to the Senate on March 11, 1924. In Ottawa, he resided at 534 The Driveway, in a large mansion overlooking the Rideau Canal.
Haydon was one of King's most trusted advisors and was responsible for collecting and distributing campaign funds for the Liberal Party. When a House of Commons committee revealed in 1931 that the Beauharnois Light, Heat and Power Co. had hired Haydon's law firm on an annual retainer, and had promised an additional $50,000 fee on the condition that an Order-in-Council be passed allowing the diversion of St. Lawrence River water into the Beauharnois Canal, accusations of bribery surfaced. Further investigation revealed that Company Director R.O. Sweezey had donated approximately $700,000 to the federal and Quebec Liberal parties to show his gratefulness.
A connection was never established between the Beauharnois donations and the policies of King's government. King did not question Haydon's integrity or his loyalty to the Liberal Party. In his diary he wrote of Haydon: "He has been the most unselfish man we have, & has done more for party organization than all others put together. He has been loyalty itself to me, & party or no party, I do not intend to have him sacrificed to a lot of canting hypocrites & wolves." (Diary, July 26, 1931) Nevertheless, Haydon was soon dismissed from his role as Campaign Treasurer for the Liberal Party. Throughout the whole affair, King denied any knowledge of the identities of the donors of the campaign funds and therefore denied that he was guilty of political influence.
Andrew Haydon died shortly after the Beauharnois episode, on November 10, 1932. He is also remembered for authoring Pioneer Sketches in the District of Bathurst (1925) and Mackenzie King and the Liberal Party (1930).
As a direct result of the Beauharnois affair, the National Liberal Federation was created in 1932. The Federation was given a central office with permanent staff, and a structure that separated the Party Leader from the Party's finances. Vincent Massey (President) and Norman Lambert (Secretary) were selected to operate this new office and to lead the Liberals into better times.
Library and Archives Canada holds the records of Andrew Haydon (MG27-IIIC28).