Item iw-glen-283 - William Irvine's campaign literature

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William Irvine's campaign literature

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GLEN glen-965-iw-glen-283

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  • 1921 (Creation)
    Irvine, William
  • 1921 (Creation)
    United Farmers of Alberta

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1 folder (14 p.)

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Biographical history

William Irvine, 1885-1962, was born in Gletness, Shetland, Scotland. He became a Christian socialist in his youth and worked as a Methodist lay preacher. He moved to Canada in 1907 when he was recruited by Superintendent James Woodsworth Sr. for ministerial work. After his ordination he was assigned to Emo, Ontario in 1914 but soon left to become a Unitarian minister in Calgary, Alberta. He became politically active and helped organize the Non-Partisan League and edited its publication the Nutcracker (later the Alberta Non-Partisan and Western Independent). Irvine established the People's Church in Calgary in 1919 and he also helped establish the Alberta wing of the Dominion Labor Party. He also helped the United Farmers of Alberta (UFA) enter politics and published a book Farmers in Politics endorsing their policies. He was elected to the House of Commons in 1921 as Member of Parliament for the Dominion Labor Party. Defeated in 1925, he was then returned in the Wetaskiwin constitutency as a UFA MP from 1926-1932. His second book Cooperative Government was published in 1929. During the 1930s Irvine was active in establishing the Cooperative Commonwealth Federation (CCF) and remained involved with the party throughout the remainder of his life. He was again returned to Parliament from 1945-1949 as the MP for Cariboo. In 1910 he married Adelia Mabel Little, 1892-1980, known as Delia, and they had five children, Ronald William, 1912-1982, Harry Charles, 1914-1945, James Franklin, 1916-? , Vera Esther (Stevens), 1918-2013 , and Eric Melville, 1922-?. For further information see William Irvine and Radical Politics in Canada / John Edward Hart. -- PhD thesis, University of Guelph, 1972; William Irvine : The Life of a Prairie Radical / Anthony Mardiros. -- Toronto : J. Lorimer, 1979; Beyond the Social Gospel : A Study of the Intellectural Foundations of Radical Protest Politics in Early Twentieth Century Canada / Janice Staples. -- PhD thesis, Carleton University, 1985; and The Parlimentary Career of William Irvine, 1922-1935 / Lief Gordon Stolee. -- MA thesis, University of Alberta, 1969.

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Administrative history

The United Farmers of Alberta was formed in 1909 when the Canadian Society of Equity merged with the Alberta Farmers' Association. The objectives of the UFA were to practice the principles of cooperation, improve the moral, intellectual and financial status of farmers, promote legislation to achieve these ends and to study economic and social questions bearing on the interests of farmers. A women's auxiliary was formed in 1914. In 1916 it became an independent body under the name United Farm Women of Alberta. The UFA endorsed political action in 1919. It won the 1921 provincial election. The UFA Government remained in power until 1935. During this period a majority of Alberta's Member of Parliament (MPs) were also UFA candidates. The UFA withdrew from direct political action in 1939. In 1932 the UFA Central Cooperative Association was established to handle the organization's cooperative activities. It was incorporated as the United Farmers of Alberta Cooperative Ltd. in 1948. The UFA itself joined the Alberta Farmers' Union in 1949 to form the Farmers' Union of Alberta (FUA). In 1970 the FUA and the Alberta Federation of Agriculture joined to form Unifarm and Women of Unifarm. In 1996 Unifarm changed its name to Wild Rose Agricultural Producers.

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  • The material is in English.

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General note

Consists of campaign literature, primarily written by the United Farmers of Alberta, which was used by William Irvine during his successful campaign as an independent labour candidate in East Calgary constituency during the 1921 federal election: "Party System Failure as Business Proposition", "Political Awakening of the Canadian People Feared by Reactionaries of Both Parties", "Group Organization a Dominating Issue in Federal Election", "Mr. Crerar and the Mudslingers", and "The Falsehood; The Truth". He was supported by the UFA during his election bid, and sat in Parliament as a UFA member.

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  • English

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