Letters from Canadians to the Prime Minister About the Depression

[ Vancouver police attack unemployed protesters ]

Vancouver police attack unemployed protesters, Unknown, 1938, en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:RCMP_1938_sitdowner_strike.jpg

Faro, Alta.
Oct 30/33

Mr. R.B. Bennett
Prime Minister of Canada

Dear Sir: –
You will think it odd to receive a letter from a poor guy like me asking the Prime Minister of Canada to do him a favour, but can not help it, as present condition are such that a man can hardly make a living on a farm, especially in the Peace River country. I am a homesteader about one & a half mile from Northstand siding on the Northern Alberta Railway. My crop was frozen & will not realize very much out of same. I wrote to the manager of the Northern Alberta Railway Co. at Edmonton for a small tie contract this winter, did not yet receive a reply & its been two months since I wrote.

I am mighty hard up & have four children to keep in food & clothing. I do not wish to go on releave [sic], as never before in my life have I been on releave, so I am asking you to do me a favour by using your influence to induce the Northern Alberta Railway Co. to let a poor homesteader like me have a small tie contract this winter, in order to keep my family in food & clothing.

You might ask your self who is this guy. well I was born in Medicine Hat forty two years ago. My dad was a good old consirvative ever since I can remember & ever since I had a vote, I voted consirvative & always will. I do not know you personal but have listened to your public speaches many a time.

The other day after our school meeting, some one said; well Mr. Bennett is at Calgary telling the unemployed what he has done for them & they laughed, it sure made my blood boil. I told them Mr. Bennett has done more for the unemployed than any other Prime Minister could or have done in the present state of affairs the whole world is in, we had it quite hot. I won out, as I never lay down.

I wish I could get more inside information as to what you have done for Canada, in order to defend myself.


Hoping to hear from you before very long.

Yours Truly
F. Reznick

B.C. Dec. 1934.

Canadian Govt. at Ottawa, Canada

Well Mr. R.B.Bennet, arnt you a man or are you? to be the cause of all this starvation and privation. You call us derelicts, then if we are derelicts what else are you but one too. only a darn sight worse. You said if you was elected, you would give us all work and wages, well you have been in the Prime Ministers shoes, now, for 4 years. and we are still looking for work and wages. You took all our jobs away from us. We can’t earn any money. You say a relief camp is good enough for us, then its too good for you Mr Bennet, you are on releif your own self. You put away your big govt salary, then ask the gov’t. to pay for your big feasts, while we poor fellows starve. While you jazz around the hotel girls.

P.S. this will take my last 3 cents, but we hope it goes to the bottom of you, and that you will hand us out both work and living wages. You have caused lots of people to kill their families and themselves rather than to slowly starve to death, or freeze to death. Try it you prime minister, just try it.

Now you are trying to get war going to make yourself richer. Well R.B.Bennet, I hope you get your share of the bullets.

[no signature]

Craven Alberta
Feb 11 — 1935

Dear Sir –
Please don’t think Im crazy for writing you this letter, but I’ve got three little children, and they are all in need of shoes as well as underwear but shoe’s are the most neaded as two of them go to school and its cold, my husband has not had a crop for 8 years only enough for seed and some food. and I don’t know what to do. I hate to ask for help. I never have before and we are staying off relief if possible. What I wanted was $3.00 if I could possible get it or even some old cloths to make over but if you don’t want to do this please don’t mention it over radios as every one knows me around here and I’m well liked, so I beg of you not to mention my name. I’ve never asked anyone around here for help or cloths as I know them to well.

Yours Sincerely
Mrs P.E.Bottle

[Reply from R.B. Bennett: $5.00.]

[Newspaper clipping enclosed]


The death of James C. Grant, 22, unemployed bookkeeper, and member of the Toronto Flying Club, who jumped 1,500 feet from the wing of an aeroplane Saturday evening after bidding a smiling farewell to his instructor, Flight Lieutenant Ralph Spradbrow…

Hon. R.B.Bennett
I would say the Dominion Government was the murderer of this young Canadian, in that it is in their power to do something for the unemployed, but have not done so.

Leo Gadali

Source: 56-57,94-95,112,185

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