John A. Macdonald
Sir John Alexander Macdonald was the first prime minister of Canada. The dominant figure of Canadian Confederation, he had a political career which spanned half a century. Macdonald was born in Scotland; as a lawyer he was involved in several high-profile cases and became prominent in Kingston, which elected him in 1844 to the legislature of the Province of Canada. By 1857, he had become premier under the colony's unstable political system. In 1864, when no party proved capable of governing for long, Macdonald agreed to a proposal from his political rival, George Brown, that the parties unite in a Great Coalition to seek federation and political reform. Macdonald was the leading figure in the subsequent discussions and conferences, which resulted in the British North America Act and the birth of Canada as a nation on 1 July 1867. Macdonald was the first Prime Minister of the new nation, served 19 years. In 1873, he resigned from office over the Pacific Scandal, in which his party took bribes from businessmen seeking the contract to build the Canadian Pacific Railway.
However, he was re-elected in 1878, continuing until he died in office in 1891. Macdonald's greatest achievements were building and guiding a successful national government for the new Dominion, using patronage to forge a strong Conservative Party, promoting the protective tariff of the National Policy, completing the railway, he fought to block provincial efforts to take power back from the national government in Ottawa. His most controversial move was to approve the execution of Métis leader Louis Riel for treason in 1885, he died in 1891, still in office. Historical rankings have placed Macdonald as one of the highest rated Prime Ministers in Canadian history. John Alexander Macdonald was born John Alexander Mcdonald in Ramshorn parish in Glasgow, Scotland, on the 10th or 11th of January 1815, his father was named Hugh, an unsuccessful merchant, who had married John's mother, Helen Shaw, on 21 October 1811. John Alexander Macdonald was the third of five children. After Hugh's business ventures left him in debt, the family immigrated to Kingston, in Upper Canada, in 1820, where there were a number of relatives and connections.
The family lived with another, but resided over a store which Hugh Macdonald ran. Soon after their arrival, John's younger brother James died from a blow to the head by a servant, supposed to look after the boys. After Hugh's store failed, the family moved to Hay Bay, west of Kingston, where Hugh unsuccessfully ran another shop, his father, in 1829, was appointed a magistrate for the Midland District. John Macdonald's mother was a lifelong influence on her son, helping him in his difficult first marriage and remaining a force in his life until her 1862 death. John attended local schools; when he was aged 10, his family scraped together the money to send him to Midland District Grammar School in Kingston. Macdonald's formal schooling ended at 15, a common school-leaving age at a time when only children from the most prosperous families were able to attend university. Macdonald regretted leaving school when he did, remarking to his secretary Joseph Pope that if he had attended university, he might have embarked on a literary career.
Macdonald's parents decided. As Donald Creighton wrote, "law was a broad, well-trodden path to comfort, influence to power", it was "the obvious choice for a boy who seemed as attracted to study as he was uninterested in trade." Besides, Macdonald needed to start earning money to support his family because his father's businesses were again failing. "I had no boyhood," he complained many years later. "From the age of 15, I began to earn my own living." Macdonald travelled by steamboat to Toronto, where he passed an examination set by The Law Society of Upper Canada, including mathematics and history. British North America had no law schools in 1830. Between the two examinations, they were articled to established lawyers. Macdonald began his apprenticeship with George Mackenzie, a prominent young lawyer, a well-regarded member of Kingston's rising Scottish community. Mackenzie practised corporate law, a lucrative speciality that Macdonald himself would pursue. Macdonald was a promising student, in the summer of 1833, managed the Mackenzie office when his employer went on a business trip to Montreal and Quebec in Lower Canada.
That year, Macdonald was sent to manage the law office of a Mackenzie cousin who had fallen ill. In August 1834, George Mackenzie died of cholera. With his supervising lawyer dead, Macdonald remained at the cousin's law office in Hallowell. In 1835, Macdonald returned to Kingston, though not yet of age nor qualified, began his practice as a lawyer, hoping to gain his former employer's clients. Macdonald's parents and sisters returned to Kingston, Hugh Macdonald became a bank clerk. Soon after Macdonald was called to the Bar in February 1836, he arranged to take in two students. Oliver Mowat became
Earnscliffe is a Victorian manor in Ottawa, built in the Gothic Revival style. During the late 19th century, it was home to Sir John A. Macdonald. Since 1930, it has served as the residence of the British High Commissioner to Canada; the property overlooks the Ottawa River, just east of the Macdonald-Cartier Bridge. It is located to the northwest of Sussex Drive, across from the Lester B. Pearson Building; the house is a National Historic Site and the location of a plaque erected by the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada. However, since it is a diplomatic residence, it is closed to visitors except for special public events, such as Doors Open Ottawa, it was designated as "Earnscliffe National Historic Site of Canada" on May 30, 1960. The manor was built by Thomas McKay's company for his son-in-law, John McKinnon, in 1855. McKinnon died in 1866 and the house was purchased by another of McKay's sons-in-law, Thomas Keefer. Two years he sold it to Thomas Reynolds, a railroad developer. Reynolds resided there for several years, it was during this period that the house got the name "Earnscliffe", an archaic term for "eagle's cliff".
Reynolds died in 1879, his son sold the house to Sir John A. Macdonald in 1883. Macdonald had earlier stayed with Reynolds, there are some stories that he gave it its name. In 1888, Macdonald made several additions to the structure. In 1891, Macdonald fell ill, he died in his room at Earnscliffe, his widow, Lady Macdonald continued to reside in the home after his death, Queen Victoria made her Baroness Macdonald of Earnscliffe. Soon, Lady Macdonald and her daughter departed for England and leased the house to Lord Treowen, commander of the militia. Over the next decades, the building was home to several local notables, including Mrs. Charles A. E. Harriss. In 1930, William Henry Clark, the first British High Commissioner to Canada, arranged to buy the house for the British government, it has been the home of the British High Commissioner since. On October 4, 2011, a fire damaged the building. British High Commissioner Andrew Pocock, living in the house at the time, was fine and no one was injured in the fire.
British High Commission, Ottawa List of designated heritage properties in Ottawa 1955 booklet outlining the history of the building
A diplomat is a person appointed by a state to conduct diplomacy with one or more other states or international organizations. The main functions of diplomats are: representation and protection of the interests and nationals of the sending state. Seasoned diplomats of international repute are used in international organizations as well as multinational companies for their experience in management and negotiating skills. Diplomats are diplomatic corps of various nations of the world. Diplomats are the oldest form of any of the foreign policy institutions of the state, predating by centuries foreign ministers and ministerial offices, they have diplomatic immunity. The regular use of permanent diplomatic representation began between the states of fifteenth century Italy; however the terms ‘diplomacy’ and ‘diplomat’ appeared in the French Revolution. Diplomat is derived from the Greek διπλωμάτης, the holder of a diploma, referring to diplomats' documents of accreditation from their sovereign. Diplomats themselves and historians refer to the foreign ministry by its address: the Ballhausplatz, the Quai d’Orsay, the Wilhelmstraße.
For imperial Russia to 1917 it was the Choristers’ Bridge. The Italian ministry was called "the Consulta." Though any person can be appointed by the state's national government to conduct said state's relations with other states or international organisations, a number of states maintain an institutionalised group of career diplomats—that is, public servants with a steady professional connection to the country's foreign ministry. The term career diplomat is used worldwide in opposition to political appointees. While posted to an embassy or delegation in a foreign country or accredited to an international organisation, both career diplomats and political appointees enjoy the same diplomatic immunities. Ceremonial heads of state act as diplomats on behalf of their nation following instructions from their head of Government. Whether being a career diplomat or a political appointee, every diplomat, while posted abroad, will be classified in one of the ranks of diplomats as regulated by international law.
Diplomats can be contrasted with consuls and attachés, who represent their state in a number of administrative ways, but who don't have the diplomat's political functions. Diplomats in posts collect and report information that could affect national interests with advice about how the home-country government should respond. Once any policy response has been decided in the home country's capital, posts bear major responsibility for implementing it. Diplomats have the job of conveying, in the most persuasive way possible, the views of the home government to the governments to which they are accredited and, in doing so, of trying to convince those governments to act in ways that suit home-country interests. In this way, diplomats are part of the beginning and the end of each loop in the continuous process through which foreign policy develops. In general, it has become harder for diplomats to act autonomously. Diplomats have to seize secure communication systems and mobile telephones can be tracked down and instruct the most reclusive head of mission.
The same technology in reverse gives diplomats the capacity for more immediate input about the policy-making processes in the home capital. Secure email has transformed the contact between the ministry, it is less to leak, enables more personal contact than the formal cablegram, with its wide distribution and impersonal style. The home country will send instructions to a diplomatic post on what foreign policy goals to pursue, but decisions on tactics – who needs to be influenced, what will best persuade them, who are potential allies and adversaries, how it can be done - are for the diplomats overseas to make. In this operation, the intelligence, cultural understanding, energy of individual diplomats become critical. If competent, they will have developed relationships grounded in trust and mutual understanding with influential members of the country in which they are accredited, they will have worked hard to understand the motives, thought patterns and culture of the other side. The diplomat should be an excellent negotiator but, above all, a catalyst for peace and understanding between peoples.
The diplomat's principal role is to foster peaceful relations between states. This role takes on heightened importance. Negotiation must continue – but within altered contexts. Most career diplomats have university degrees in international relations, political science, economics, or law. Diplomats have been considered members of an exclusive and prestigious profession; the public image of diplomats has been described as "a caricature of pinstriped men gliding their way around a never-ending global cocktail party". J. W. Burton has noted that "despite the absence of any specific professional training, diplomacy has a high professional status, due to a degree of secrecy and mystery that its practitioners self-consciously promote." The state supports the high status and self-esteem of its diplomats in order to
Susan le Jeune d'Allegeershecque
Susan Jane le Jeune d'Allegeershecque, is a British diplomat, the British High Commissioner to Canada since 2017. She served as the British Ambassador to Austria from 2012 to 2016. Educated at Ipswich High School for Girls, le Jeune d'Allegeershecque took a BA degree from the University of Bristol and joined the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in 1985, she served in London and at the permanent representation to the European Union, the High Commission in Singapore, the Embassies in Venezuela and the United States. In 2007, le Jeune d'Allegeershecque took over as Director of Human Resources at the Foreign Office, replacing Sir David Warren, serving there for four years until 2011, when she was replaced by Menna Rawlings. In the New Year Honours for 2010, le Jeune d'Allegeershecque was appointed a Companion of the Order of St Michael and St George.le Jeune d'Allegeershecque served as the British Ambassador to Austria from 2012 until 2016, a post which includes serving as the UK's permanent representative to the international organisations based in Vienna, such as the United Nations.
In February 2017 it was announced that le Jeune d'Allegeershecque would succeed Howard Drake from August 2017 as British High Commissioner to Canada. Susan le Jeune d'Allegeershecque on Twitter
John Wilson, 2nd Baron Moran
Richard John McMoran Wilson, 2nd Baron Moran, known as John Wilson, was a British diplomat. He was one of the ninety hereditary peers elected to remain in the House of Lords after the passing of the House of Lords Act 1999; the son of the 1st Baron Moran and Dorothy, he was educated at Eton College in Berkshire and King's College, where he received a Bachelor of Arts in history. Wilson served in the Royal Naval Reserve from 1943 to 1945, he was first Ordinary Seaman on HMS Belfast Sub-Lieutenant on Motor Torpedo Boats and Destroyer HMS Oribi. In 1945, Wilson entered the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and held various minor offices in Ankara, Tel Aviv, Rio de Janeiro, Washington, D. C. and South Africa. From 1968–73, he was Head of the West African Department of the Foreign Office, from 1970–73 concurrently non-resident British Ambassador to Chad. Wilson was British Ambassador to Hungary between 1973 and 1976 and British Ambassador to Portugal from 1976–81. In 1981, he was appointed High Commissioner to Canada and held this post until 1984.
On leaving his post of High Commissioner to Canada in 1984, Moran penned a frank final telegram to the British Foreign Secretary in which he was critical of Canadian politicians and public policies. The telegram became public in October 2009 after a BBC columnist, Matthew Parris, made a freedom of information request for the foreign office's valedictory despatches. From 1990–95, Wilson was chair of the Wildlife and Countryside Link, from 1988 to 1995 vice-chairman of the Atlantic Salmon Trust, from 1989–94 served as chairman of the National Rivers Authority Regional Fisheries Advisory Committee for the Welsh Region. For RSPB, he was council member from 1992–94, vice-president from 1996–97, he was president of the Radnorshire Wildlife Trust and Chair of the Fisheries Policy and Legislation Working Group. In 1997 he was appointed chair of the Salmon and Trout Association, remaining until 2000, when he became executive vice-president. Having been president of the Welsh Salmon and Trout Angling Association from 1988–95, he was renamed as president in 2000.
In 1973, Wilson wrote a biography about Sir Henry Campbell-Bannerman, for which he received the Whitbread Award for Biography. Having been made a Companion of the Order of St Michael and St George in 1970, he was raised to a Knight Commander in 1981. In 1978, he received the Grand Cross of the Portuguese Order of Infante D. Henrique. In 1948 he married Shirley Rowntree Harris, he died in February 2014 aged 89. 1924–1943: Mr John Wilson 1943–1970: The Honourable John Wilson 1970–1977: The Honourable John Wilson CMG 1977–1981: The Right Honourable The Lord Moran CMG 1981–2014: The Right Honourable The Lord Moran KCMG C. B. – A Life of Sir Henry Campbell-Bannerman
Howard Ronald Drake is a British former diplomat, High Commissioner to Canada from 2013 to 2017. He retired from the Diplomatic Service in August 2017. Drake was educated at Churcher's College. 1981–1983: Vice-Consul Commercial, Los Angeles, United States 1985–1988: Second Secretary Political, Chile early 1990s: Head of Chancery, Singapore 1997–2002: Deputy Consul-General and Director of Inward Investment, New York City, United States 2005–2009: Ambassador to Chile 2010–2013: British High Commissioner to Jamaica 2013–2017: British High Commissioner to CanadaOn 14 March 2014, in the midst of the 2014 Crimean crisis, he wrote an op-ed in The Globe and Mail on why his Government thought the Crimean referendum should be cancelled. Drake was appointed Companion of the Order of St Michael and St George in the 2017 Birthday Honours
Commonwealth of Nations
The Commonwealth of Nations known as the Commonwealth, is a unique political association of 53 member states, nearly all of them former territories of the British Empire. The chief institutions of the organisation are the Commonwealth Secretariat, which focuses on intergovernmental aspects, the Commonwealth Foundation, which focuses on non-governmental relations between member states; the Commonwealth dates back to the first half of the 20th century with the decolonisation of the British Empire through increased self-governance of its territories. It was created as the British Commonwealth through the Balfour Declaration at the 1926 Imperial Conference, formalised by the United Kingdom through the Statute of Westminster in 1931; the current Commonwealth of Nations was formally constituted by the London Declaration in 1949, which modernised the community, established the member states as "free and equal". The human symbol of this free association is the Head of the Commonwealth Queen Elizabeth II, the 2018 Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting appointed Charles, Prince of Wales to be her designated successor, although the position is not technically hereditary.
The Queen is the head of state of 16 member states, known as the Commonwealth realms, while 32 other members are republics and five others have different monarchs. Member states have no legal obligations to one another. Instead, they are united by English language, history and their shared values of democracy, human rights and the rule of law; these values are enshrined in the Commonwealth Charter and promoted by the quadrennial Commonwealth Games. The countries of the Commonwealth cover more than 29,958,050 km2, equivalent to 20% of the world's land area, span all six inhabited continents. Queen Elizabeth II, in her address to Canada on Dominion Day in 1959, pointed out that the confederation of Canada on 1 July 1867 had been the birth of the "first independent country within the British Empire", she declared: "So, it marks the beginning of that free association of independent states, now known as the Commonwealth of Nations." As long ago as 1884 Lord Rosebery, while visiting Australia, had described the changing British Empire, as some of its colonies became more independent, as a "Commonwealth of Nations".
Conferences of British and colonial prime ministers occurred periodically from the first one in 1887, leading to the creation of the Imperial Conferences in 1911. The Commonwealth developed from the imperial conferences. A specific proposal was presented by Jan Smuts in 1917 when he coined the term "the British Commonwealth of Nations" and envisioned the "future constitutional relations and readjustments in essence" at the Paris Peace Conference of 1919, attended by delegates from the Dominions as well as Britain; the term first received imperial statutory recognition in the Anglo-Irish Treaty of 1921, when the term British Commonwealth of Nations was substituted for British Empire in the wording of the oath taken by members of parliament of the Irish Free State. In the Balfour Declaration at the 1926 Imperial Conference and its dominions agreed they were "equal in status, in no way subordinate one to another in any aspect of their domestic or external affairs, though united by common allegiance to the Crown, associated as members of the British Commonwealth of Nations".
The term "Commonwealth" was adopted to describe the community. These aspects to the relationship were formalised by the Statute of Westminster in 1931, which applied to Canada without the need for ratification, but Australia, New Zealand, Newfoundland had to ratify the statute for it to take effect. Newfoundland never did, as on 16 February 1934, with the consent of its parliament, the government of Newfoundland voluntarily ended and governance reverted to direct control from London. Newfoundland joined Canada as its 10th province in 1949. Australia and New Zealand ratified the Statute in 1947 respectively. Although the Union of South Africa was not among the Dominions that needed to adopt the Statute of Westminster for it to take effect, two laws—the Status of the Union Act, 1934, the Royal Executive Functions and Seals Act of 1934—were passed to confirm South Africa's status as a sovereign state. After the Second World War ended, the British Empire was dismantled. Most of its components have become independent countries, whether Commonwealth realms or republics, members of the Commonwealth.
There remain the 14 self-governing British overseas territories which retain some political association with the United Kingdom. In April 1949, following the London Declaration, the word "British" was dropped from the title of the Commonwealth to reflect its changing nature. Burma and Aden are the only states that were British colonies at the time of the war not to have joined the Commonwealth upon independence. Former British protectorates and mandates that did not become members of the Commonwealth are Egypt, Transjordan, Sudan, British Somaliland, Bahrain, Oman and the United Arab Emirates; the postwar Commonwealth was given a fresh mission by Queen Elizabeth in her Christmas Day 1953 broadcast, in which she envisioned the Commonwealth as "an new conception – built on the highest qualities of the Spirit of Man: friendship and the desire for freedom and peace". Hoped for success was reinforced by such achievements as climbing Mount Everest in 1953, breaking the four-minute mile in 1954