Solon Earl Low
Solon Earl Low.jpg
Solon E. Low as MP for Peace River in 1946.
Leader of the Social Credit Party of Canada
In office
April 6, 1944 – July 6, 1961
Preceded byJohn Horne Blackmore
Succeeded byRobert N. Thompson
Member of Canadian Parliament for Peace River
In office
June 11, 1945 – March 30, 1958
Preceded byJohn Sissons
Succeeded byGed Baldwin
Member of the Legislative Assembly of Alberta for Warner (1935-1940, 1944-1945)
Vegreville (1940-1944)
Personal details
Born(1900-01-08)January 8, 1900
Cardston, Alberta, Canada
DiedDecember 22, 1962(1962-12-22) (aged 62)
Shelby, Montana, U.S.
Resting placeCardston, Alberta, Canada
Political partySocial Credit
Spouse(s)Unknown Name
(1920–1922)
Alice Fern Litchfield
(1922–1958)
Children8
OccupationFarmer
Teacher

Solon Earl Low (January 8, 1900 – December 22, 1962)[1] was a Canadian politician, farmer, teacher, and school principal in the 20th century.

Early life

Solon Earl Low was born in Cardston, District of Alberta, Northwest Territories on January 8, 1900 to Sarah Ida (Barber) and James Paton Low. Low's father was a teacher, businessman, and participant in the Constitutional Convention for the State of Utah in 1895.[2]

Low attended Cardston Public schools, then studied education at Calgary Normal College, the University of Alberta and University of Southern California.[2] While at the University of Alberta, he took a lively interest in student activities including debate, basketball and other sports. Following his education he began teaching.[3] He was married twice, the second time to Alice Fren Litchfield, together they had five of his eight children.[2]

Political life

Low was elected to the Legislative Assembly of Alberta in the 1935 Alberta general election that swept the Social Credit Party of Alberta to power. Low became provincial treasurer under Premier William Aberhart in 1937. Low brokered an agreement during the 1937 Social Credit backbenchers' revolt to continue the government through a three-month budget while trying to bring Major C. H. Douglas to Alberta.[3] As a Minister, Low introduced Accurate News and Information Act on October 1, 1937,[4] and was passed by the legislature on October 4, 1937, during a marathon session which lasted until 12:30 the next morning.[5] Lieutenant-Governor of Alberta John C. Bowen reserved royal assent until the Supreme Court of Canada evaluated the act's legality. In 1938's Reference re Alberta Statutes, the court found that it was unconstitutional, and it never became law. Low was defeated in 1940 but regained a seat in a by-election in which George Woytkiw resigned for him. Low also held the Minister of Education position in Premier Ernest Manning's government in 1943-1944.[2]

In 1944, he was acclaimed the first national leader of the Social Credit Association of Canada at the party's founding convention. Though there had been a group of Social Credit MPs in parliament since 1935 under the leadership of John Horne Blackmore, the party did not have its first national convention until 1944 at which point the national party was formally founded. He was first elected to the House of Commons in the 1945 federal election. Low represented Peace River, Alberta until he lost his seat, along with every other Social Credit Member of Parliament (MP), in the 1958 federal election. Low retired as party leader in 1961 and became a judge of the juvenile and family court in Lethbridge in 1961.[6] He would die later in 1962.

Personal life

Low was a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.[7] His family moving to Edmonton in 1937 was a key event in the growth of the church in that city. His wife Alice was the first leader of the young women program in the Edmonton Branch.[8]

Low contributed to Social Credit's reputation for antisemitism by numerous controversial comments. As Alberta treasurer he once said:

"[A]nti-Semitism is spreading because people cannot fail to observe that a disproportionate number of Jews occupy positions of control in international finance, in revolutionary activities and in some propaganda institutions, the common policy of which is the centralization of power and the perversion of religious and cultural ideals."
Ending anti-Semitism, he said, would require Jews to denounce those "arch-criminals" in their midsts who are responsible for these initiatives.

In 1947, when Low was federal leader of the Social Credit party, he used a national Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) broadcast to lambaste "the international power maniacs who aim to destroy Christianity" and the "international gangsters who are day-to-day scheming for world revolution." He also claimed there was a "close tie-up between international communism, international finance, and international political Zionism."[9] Low repudiated anti-Semitism in 1957 after having criticized Canada for not fully supporting Britain and France in the Suez Crisis and having visited the state of Israel.[10]

References

  1. ^ Solon Earl Low – Parliament of Canada biography
  2. ^ a b c d Normandin, G. Pierre, ed. (1958). "The Canadian Parliamentary Guide". The Canadian Parliamentary Guide = Guide Parlementaire Canadien. Ottawa: Mortimer Company Ltd.: 221. ISBN 9781414401416. ISSN 0315-6168. OCLC 893686591. Retrieved 9 August 2020.
  3. ^ a b Low, Solon (15 April 1945). "What does Social Credit Stand For?". Maclean's. Retrieved 8 September 2020.
  4. ^ "'We Never Thought This Could Happen'". Calgary Herald. Lethbridge. 1 October 1937. p. 1. Retrieved 8 September 2020.
  5. ^ Kennedy, Fred (5 October 1937). "Fifth Session of Legislature Closing Today". Calgary Herald. p. 1. Retrieved 8 September 2020.
  6. ^ "Solon E. Low fonds". Glenbow Museum. Retrieved 8 September 2020.
  7. ^ Prete and others. Canadian Mormons (Provo: BYU Religious Studies Center, 2017) p. 10.
  8. ^ Prete. Canadian Mormons, p. 280-281
  9. ^ Palmer, Howard (1992). "Politics, Religion and Anti-Semitism in Alberta, 1880–1950". In Davies, Alan (ed.). Antisemitism in Canada : history and interpretation. Waterloo, Ont., Canada: Wilfrid Laurier University Press. p. 185. ISBN 0-88920-216-8.
  10. ^ American Jewish Committee Archives, American Jewish Yearbook v. 64 (1963)
Legislative Assembly of Alberta Preceded byMaurice Conner MLA Warner 1935–1940 Succeeded byJames Walker Preceded byGeorge Woytkiw MLA Vegreville 1940–1944 Succeeded byMichael Ponich Preceded byJames Walker MLA Warner 1944–1945 Succeeded byLeonard Halmrast Party political offices Preceded byJohn Horne Blackmoreparliamentary leader National Leaders of Social Credit 1944–1961 Succeeded byRobert N. Thompson Parliament of Canada Preceded byJohn Sissons Member of Parliament Peace River 1945–1958 Succeeded byGed Baldwin