Today in Canada's Political History - June 14, 1973: Death of the last living member of R.B. Bennett’s cabinet

  • National Newswatch

Henry Herbert Stevens (known before history as “H.H.”) passed into history on this date in 1973. First elected to the Commons in 1911, Stevens served in the cabinets of Prime Ministers Arthur Meighen and R.B. Bennett. He was the latter’s Minister of Trade and Commerce between 1930 and 1934. Stevens resigned from the Bennett cabinet in 1934 and went on to form his own party, the Reconstruction Party of Canada. It fielded more than 170 candidates in the 1935 campaign, earning almost 400,000 votes from Canadians, almost nine percent of the popular vote nationally. Despite this, Stevens was the only MP the party elected the Reconstructionists soon fizzled out. At the time of his death, Stevens was the last living member of Bennett’s cabinet. He was 94 when he passed into history in Vancouver.

Arthur Milnes is an accomplished public historian and award-winning journalist. He was research assistant on The Rt. Hon. Brian Mulroney’s best-selling Memoirs and also served as a speechwriter to then-Prime Minister Stephen Harper and as a Fellow of the Queen’s Centre for the Study of Democracy under the leadership of Tom Axworthy. A resident of Kingston, Ontario, Milnes serves as the in-house historian at the 175 year-old Frontenac Club Hotel.