Brian Brooke Claxton

(1898—1960) politician in Canada

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(1898–1960. Claxton served in the Canadian artillery in the First World War and won the Distinguished Conduct Medal. He graduated in law from McGill University in 1921 and for most of the next two decades was a key figure in the Canadian Movement. He helped draft the 1936 version of the Broadcast Act, which converted the Canadian Radio Broadcasting Commission into the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. Elected to Parliament for the Liberals in 1940, he was appointed parliamentary secretary to W. L. Mackenzie King in 1943 and minister of national health and welfare in 1944. A sparkplug for the leftward swing of the King government in 1943–5, he oversaw the introduction of family allowances. In 1946 he was appointed minister of national defence, with a mandate to drastically cut Canada's post-war military. He did that, but also oversaw the beginning of the largest peacetime mobilization in Canadian history after the outbreak of the Korean War and played a major role in defining Canada's post-war defence relationship with the United States and within NATO. He resigned from government in 1954, but was named chairman of the newly established Canada Council in early 1957.

From The Oxford Companion to Canadian History in Oxford Reference.

Subjects: History of the Americas.

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