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Description found in Archives

Louis St. Laurent fonds [multiple media] 



Place of creation


162.21 m of textual records.
74 audio discs.
3 audio reels.
1 film reel (9 min, 33 s).
1 plaque : bronze.
1257 photographs : 1135 b&w; 122 b&w negatives.

Scope and content

The St. Laurent Papers are almost exclusively political and do not contain all the original material. They have been divided into four chronological groups: pre-1948 papers (vols. 1-37); Prime Minister's Office, 1948-1957 (vols. 38-241); Leader of the Opposition, 1957-1958 (vols. 242-248); and post-1958 papers (vol. 248). Speeches, clippings and additional papers were subsequently added. Included among the additional papers is a small amount of family correspondence and personal material. The original classification system of the papers has been retained as much as possible. Included are sound recordings of talks and speeches (in English and French) by St. Laurent, as well as radio broadcasts produced by the CBC, the Montreal radio station CKAC and the Ottawa radio station CFRA on St. Laurent's life and poltical career, 1946-1960. Also included is a documentary film entitled St. Laurent : the man and his country, 1953. The fonds also contains a bronze plaque depicting Sir Louis Hippolyte Lafontaine as the father of responsible governement and defender of the French language in the Parliament of Canada.

Textual records
Moving images (film)
90: Open
Sound recordings
90: Open
90: Open
Protective supervision is required durin
g consultation.
Graphic (photo)
90: Open
Archival reference no.
Former archival reference no.

Terms of use

Sound recordings: Reproduction and use in any form requires the written permission of the copyright holders and the broadcasters.
Moving images: Reproduction and use in any form requires the written permission of the copyright holders.

Textual records The finding aid is available in three parts. Part One is a file list for volumes 1-248 and 402-410. The indexed files of the Prime Minister's Office (vols. 38-241) also may be used in conjunction with the card index in the Prime Minister's Office index cards series (volumes 425-682) which give file numbers. It should be noted that the Archives possesses only approximately 70% of the files indicated by the cards. MSS0530 90 (Electronic)

Textual records Part Two contains a list of files for the Clippings series and a list of Speeches, volumes 249 to 399. MSS0530 90 (Electronic)

Textual records Part Three contains a file list for the Scrapbooks and Additional Papers (volumes 400, 401, 411 to 682). Part three of the finding aid is available in electronic format. MSS0530 90 (Electronic)

Photographs Finding aid is a list of photographs, including dates (for accession 1993-261). FA-391 90 (Paper)

Sound recordings and moving images See MISACS for item level descriptions. 90 (Electronic)

Biography / Administrative history

Prime Minister of Canada

Louis Stephen St. Laurent was born at Compton in the Eastern Townships on 1 February 1882. He attended the Saint-Charles Seminary of Sherbrooke and Laval University where he studied law. Admitted to the Quebec bar in 1905, he began a successful career as a business lawyer in Quebec City. At the age of 59, he had not yet played an active role in politics. Prime Minister King, however, asked him to enter the federal Cabinet where he replaced Ernest Lapointe who had died on 26 November 1941. On 10 December 1941, Mr. St. Laurent was sworn in as Minister of Justice and Attorney-General. On 9 February 1942, he was elected as the Member for Quebec East to the House of Commons and represented that constituency until the election of 1958. After the war, in September 1946, he received the External Affairs portfolio.

On 7 August 1948, Louis St. Laurent was chosen leader of the Liberal Party and on 15 November he succeeded Mackenzie King as Prime Minister and President of the Privy Council. After nine years, his administration was defeated in the general election of 10 June 1957 and he resigned from his office on 21 June 1957. Leader of the Opposition from 21 June to 5 September 1957, he was succeeded as leader of the Liberal Party by Lester B. Pearson on 16 January 1958. Mr. St. Laurent then returned to the practice of law in Quebec.

Additional information

The St. Laurent Papers were placed on deposit in the National Archives in 1957 and 1958 and were formally donated to the National Archives of Canada in April 1969.

Seven unindexed files of correspondence transferred from the L.B. Pearson Papers (vols. 247-248) 0.100m of material entitled "Western Trip 1949" transferred by the National Library in 1969 (vol. 241) and 0.010m of material entitled "Correspondence re Proposed Union of Newfoundland" transferred by the Privy Council Office in 1968 (vol. 19) have been added.

As well, clippings (vols. 298-399) placed by the Prime Minister's Office with the National Liberal Federation were removed from the papers of the Federation and returned to the St. Laurent Papers in 1969. Additional speeches, clippings, subject files, scrap-books and diplomas were received from Mr. St. Laurent's Quebec City home in December 1973. These were presented by Mr. St. Laurent's daughter, Mrs. G.F. Lafferty of Ottawa.

The speeches were integrated into the existing speeches series while the scrap-books and clippings were placed at the end of the clippings series (vols. 385-400). The subject files and diplomas were placed at the end of the papers (vols. 402-410). A few letters placed in volume 128 (file 0-22-9-B) were presented in 1986 by Hon. P.E. Trudeau.

Subject heading

1. Prime ministers - Canada - Death, 1973.
2. Canada. Parliament - Elections, 1949.
3. Canada. Parliament - Elections, 1953.
4. Canada. Parliament - Elections, 1957.
5. Cabinet ministers - Canada, 1948-1957.
6. Military service - Canada, [1941-1957]
7. World War II - Canada - Security, [1941-1946]
8. Prime ministers Canada.
9. Canada. Parliament. House of Commons.
10. Politics and government. Canada
11. Politique et gouvernement . Canada
12. Canada. Dept. of External Affairs.
13. Canada. Dept. of Justice.
14. Canada. Prime Minister (1948-1957 : St. Laurent)
15. Legislators Canada.


Other system control no.

Related control no.

1. 1949-005 NPC
2. 1949-010 NPC
3. 1951-003 MED
4. 1954-001 MED
5. 1963-118 NPC
6. 1963-146 NPC
7. 1968-0018 MISA
8. 1974-0131 MISA
9. 1974-0213 MISA
10. 1975-016 NPC
11. 1977-012 PIC
12. 1977-061 PIC
13. 1977-068 NPC
14. 1982-167 PIC
15. 1984-009 PIC
16. 1985-158 NPC
17. 1985-211 NPC
18. 1987-009 PIC
19. 1989-392 DAP
20. 1990-0310 MISA
21. 1993-261 DAP
22. 112-020016-4
23. 118-060102-5
24. 119-020063-5
25. 2002-01045-5
26. MG26-L