Born secretary in the Canadian High Commission, and he

Born on St. George’s Day in the year Queen Victoria’s diamond
jubilee. Lester B. Pearson was the son of a Methodist parson, as a child he was
moving from one place to another, then later he enrolled in history at the
University of Toronto. Then when World War I started, he enlisted in the
Canadian Army Medical Corps, and then in 1915, he was shipped to Greece to join
the Allied armies that were fighting the Bulgarians. After two years of medical
bearing, he transferred to the Royal Flying Corps in England. He was later run
over by a London Bus, and his military career came to an end, and he had to go
back home.

            He later earnt his bachelor degree
at the University of Toronto in 1919, but Pearson didn’t know what career to
pursue. He tried to go into law and business, he won a fellowship to Oxford
University, and then he was hired by University of Toronto to teach history,
which then he combined with tennis and coaching football. He found a
professor’s salary too low, so he joined the Department of External Affairs.

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            Around the year of 1935, Pearson was
sent to London as a first secretary in the Canadian High Commission, and he saw
first hand as European drifted towards World War II. He began his European
experience badly when he recommended the Canadian Representative to the League
of Nations, Walter Alexander Riddell, “to put forward a proposal to impose
sanctions on Italy after it invaded Abyssinia (Ethiopia) in October 1935. King,
who became prime minister later that month, angrily repudiated the Riddell
initiative in December, but Pearson escaped blame” (Biograhi). “King and Skelton
had both lost faith in the League of Nations and fretted about British policy
towards European border tension and the Spanish Civil War that they feared
would lead to confrontations, not only with Italy but, more dangerously, with
Adolf Hitler’s Germany” (Biographi). Pearson returned to Canada in 1941. He was
then sent to Washington as second-in-command at the Canadian Legation in 1942,
since he was easygoing and had a very good personal charm, it made him a big
success, especially with the press. Then as years went on, in 1945, after the
Second World War had finished, he was named Canadian ambassador to the United
States of America, and he attended the founding conference of the United
Nations at San Francisco.

            In September 1946, Lester Pearson
was called home to Ottawa by Prime Minister Mackenzie King, as he slowly took
his retirement to become deputy minister of external affairs, he served under
the new secretary of state for external affairs, St. Laurent. The two of them
quickly acquired confidence in each other and both of them were worried about
the tired Prime Minister. He continued to have a strong interest in the UN but
also promoted a closer and economic relationship between Canada and its allies,
US and United Kingdom. Pearson’s work added up to Canada’s joining North
Atlantic Treaty Organization in 1949, by playing major roles in the discussions
and urged Canada’s chief negotiator, Hume Wrong, to take better style to the
treaty. By the time the pact was finally signed in Washington, in the spring of
1949. He strongly supported a Western self-defense organization, which would
hopefully push Russia towards being peaceful.

            By the time North Atlantic Treaty
Organization was in place, Politics caused Pearson to leave civil service,
because he was encouraged by King and St-Larent. Later in September 1948, he
became the minister of external affairs, and represented Algoma East, Ontario,
in the House of Commons. Pearson was worried that the United States of America
would return to pre-war isolationist tendencies and rhetoric and policies
reflected this concern. As minister, he helped lead Canada in the Korean War as
a contributor to the United Nations army, and in 1952, he had served as
president of the United Nation General Assembly, where he tried to solve the
problem, because of the war in Korea and the perceived threat of a Communist
attack on western Europe. But all his trying annoyed the Americans, “who
considered him too inclined to compromise on difficult points of principle”
(Canadian Encyclopedia). “Canada had followed the United States in refusing to
recognize Communist China, but he had been deeply concerned about the
possibility that the war in Korea would become a broad conflagration after the
Chinese entered it in November 1950. When American general Douglas MacArthur,
the commander of the UN forces in Korea, spoke openly about extending the war,
Pearson decided that he must protest. In a famous speech to the Canadian and
Empire clubs in Toronto on 10 April 1951, he said that the UN must not be the
“instrument of any one country” and that others had the right to criticize
American policy. He expressed his belief that “the days of relatively easy and
automatic political relations with our neighbor are, I think, over.” And they
were, even though Truman fired MacArthur later the same day” (Biographi). One
of his best achievements throughout his career was when in 1956, he proposed a
United Nation peacekeeping force, so that the French and British can get out of
Egypt during the Suez Crisis. And with that plan, he received an award, that
award being the Nobel Peace Prize in 1957.

            By then Pearson was no longer in
office. He and the St. Laurent government were blamed for not standing by
Britain in 1956. And because of that, the Liberals were beaten, and then St.
Laurent resigned as leader, and then at a convention in January of 1958, Lester
B. Pearson beat Paul Martin, to become a party leader. The Liberals faced a
minority Conservative government under the leader, John Diefenbaker, and in first
act as leader of the opposition, Pearson challenged Diefenbaker to resign and
turn the government over to him. Diefenbaker dismissed the idea and in the
general election, the Liberals were reduced to 49 of the 265 seats in the House
of Commons. Pearson began the task of rebuilding the party. “Historians have
called his times the “golden years” of Canadian diplomacy. Although there are
justifiable doubts about the glitter of the period, Pearson’s own reputation
retains its luster. He had unusual freedom because of the consensus within the
Liberal Party and the commons on the nature of the Soviet threat” (Biographi). Paul
Martin and J.W. Pickersgill helped him do that, with party workers Walter
Gordon, Mitchell Sharp, and Maurice Lamontagne, he re-established the Liberals
as a nation party. The Liberals had a party total of 100 seats, in 1962, thanks
to Pearson. Then a year later in 1963, the Diefenbaker government collapsed
over the issue of nuclear weapons and in the election the Liberals won 128
seats, enough to form a minority government. “Beginning in the 1960s, critics
such as Robert Dennis Cuff and Jack Lawrence Granatstein would point to
Pearson’s strong and, in their view, strident anti-Communist speeches and his
sternly anti-Communist policies in the first years of the Cold War, a position
later adopted by historian Denis Smith, political scientist Reginald Whitaker,
and journalist Gary Marcuse” (Biographi). These people suggested that Lester
would overestimate the dangers of Soviet Communism. Pearson thought Communism
was just as bad with Nazism. “He warned, for example, that “we did not take
very seriously the preposterous statements of the slightly ridiculous author of
Mein Kampf. We preferred the friendly remarks of ‘jolly old Goering’ at his hunting
lodge.” Mein Kampf had been the true agenda; similarly, Soviet leader Joseph
Stalin showed a gentle side to the American vice-president, Henry Agard
Wallace, in 1944, but Pearson warned that the west should look at Stalin’s
harsh statements, “which form the basic dogma on which the policy of the USSR
Union of Soviet Socialist Republics is inflexibly based'” (Bigraphi).

            Later in the year, on the 22nd
of April 1963, Lester B. Pearson took office. It was expected that his
government would be more businesslike than the previous government, but instead
they were more “accident-prone” (Canadian Encyclopedia). “Much of Parliament’s
time was spent in bitter partisan and personal wrangling, culminating in the
interminable flag debate of 1964” (Canadian Encyclopedia). Again, Pearson
called a general election, in 1965, and again they failed to secure a majority.
In the next year, the Munsinger scandal erupted with even more bitterness.

            The year of 1965 marked a dividing
line in his administration, when Finance Minister Walter Gordon departed, and
all the way from Quebec, Pierre Trudeau and Jean Marchand became prominent in
the Cabinet. Pearson’s first term had a lot of attempts to appease Quebec and
the other provinces with “co-operative federalism” and “bilingualism” (Canadian
Encyclopedia). “When, during his centennial visit, French president Charles de
Gaulle uttered the separatist slogan “Vive le Québec libre” to a
crowd in Montréal, Pearson issued an official rebuke and de Gaulle promptly
went home. In December 1967, Pearson announced his intention to retire and in
April 1968 a Liberal convention picked Pierre Trudeau as his successor”
(Canadian Encyclopedia).

            In all its apparent chaos, The
Pearson government left behind a very good legacy of legislation: A new flag, a
unified armed force (UN), a universal Medicare system, and a Canadian Pension
Plan. “However, its approach to the problem of Canada’s economically
disadvantaged regions was less successful and its legacy, which included the
Glace Bay heavy-water plant, was decidedly mixed” (Canadian Encyclopedia). Not
all of these things were proven as helpful and some were costly, but they
showed and represented the high point of Canadian welfare state that all the
generations of social thinkers had dreamt about. And after, and while he
retired, Pearson worked on his memoirs and on a study of international aid for
the World Bank.