Claxton, Brian Brooke

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Claxton, Brian Brooke

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1898-1960

History

Brian Brooke Claxton, a lawyer and a politician was born at Montréal August 23, 1898 and died at Ottawa June 13, 1960. He attended Lower Canada College and McGill, graduating with an LLB in 1921. During WWI he served overseas with the 10th Siege Battery. He was active in many organizations, including the Canadian Clubs, the Canadian Radio League, the League of Nations Society, and the Canadian Institute of International Affairs. He also taught insurance law at McGill. Claxton was elected as a Liberal representative for St Lawrence/St George in 1940, and was then appointed parliamentary secretary to Prime Minister King. While Minister of Health and Welfare he was responsible for the introduction of the family allowance, and as Minister of Defence he supervised the rebuilding of the Canadian armed forces both during and after the Korean War. He also helped negotiate Newfoundland's entry into Confederation in 1949. In 1954 he retired from politics to become general manager of Metropolitan Life, and in 1956 he served on Carleton University's Board of Governors for three years. In 1957 he was appointed first chairman of the Canada Council, in recognition of his role of bringing the government more broadly into support for the arts.

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