William Howard Hearst

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Sir William Hearst, around 1930

Sir William Howard Hearst KCMG (born February 15, 1864 in Arran Township , Province of Canada , † September 29, 1941 in Toronto , Ontario ) was a Canadian politician who chaired the Conservative Party of Ontario between 1914 and 1919 and at the same time from 1914 to 1919 Was Prime Minister of Ontario .


After attending school, Hearst began studying law at the Osgoode Hall Law School of York University and after graduating and being admitted to the bar in 1888 he worked as a lawyer in Sault Ste. Marie up.

Hearst began his political career when he was elected for the first time in the elections of June 8, 1908 as a member of the Legislative Assembly of Ontario and in this until September 23, 1919 the constituency of Sault Ste. Marie represented.

On October 12, 1911, he was called to the government of the Province of Ontario by Prime Minister James Whitney and served as Minister of Lands, Forests and Mines until October 2, 1914.

After the death of Prime Minister Whitney on September 25, 1914 Hearst was his successor and 7th Prime Minister of Ontario on October 2, 1914. He held this office until November 14, 1919. At the same time, he continued to function as Minister for Land, Forests and Mining until December 22, 1914 and was later Minister of Agriculture between December 19, 1916 and May 23, 1918. Under the influence of the United States , the government of William Hearst introduced alcohol prohibition in 1916 . However, private individuals could distil schnapps for their own use and companies were allowed to continue to produce for export. This led to a heavy smuggling of liquor into the USA, where alcohol was completely banned.

In the elections for the legislative assembly on October 20, 1919, the Conservative Party suffered a heavy defeat. While it still received 84 seats under Prime Minister Whitney on June 29, 1914, it has now lost 59 seats and with 25 seats in the 111-member parliament was only the third largest force. The election winners were the United Farmers of Ontario , who got 45 seats from scratch and thus became the strongest group in the legislative assembly. The second strongest force was the Ontario Liberal Party , which could easily improve by three seats and now had 29 MPs. In fourth place came the Labor Party, which previously had only one member and now has eleven seats. In addition, a member of the Soldier Party was represented in parliament.

On November 14, 1919, Ernest Charles Drury of the United Farmers formed a coalition government with the Labor Party. Hearst, who was also no longer a member of the legislative assembly, lost his office as prime minister and withdrew from political life and resumed his practice as a lawyer. His successor as chairman of the Conservative Party of Ontario was Howard Ferguson .

For his services, Hearst was made Knight Commander of the Order of St. Michael and St. George (KCMG) in 1917 and then added the name "Sir". He was also President of the Empire Club of Canada in 1922 and at times a member of the International Joint Commission , a commission for the settlement of border disputes between Canada and the United States.

Web links

Commons : William Hearst  - collection of pictures, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Canadian Provinces (rulers.org)