Quebec History Marianopolis College

Date Published:
August 2004

Biographies of Prominent Quebec and Canadian

Historical Figures

Hugh Llewellyn Keenleyside




Damien-Claude Bélanger,

Department of History,

McGill University .


Historian, diplomat, civil servant, and soldier, was born at Toronto. His family moved to British Columbia while he was still a boy. After completing high school, he served with the 2nd Canadian Tank Battalion, and then enrolled at the University of British Columbia, graduating with a B.A. in 1920. Three years later, he completed a doctorate at Worcester, Massachusetts' Clark University. In 1925 he became an instructor at the University of British Columbia's Department of History. His interest in international affairs brought him into the service of Canada's Department of External Affairs in 1928. Keenleyside served in Tokyo from 1929 to 1936 and was the Canadian secretary of the Permanent Joint Board of Defence from 1940 to 1944. He was an opponent of the internment of Japanese Canadians during the Second World War. In 1944 he became Canada's ambassador to Mexico, but left the Department of External Affairs in 1947. From 1947 to 1949 Keenleyside was the federal deputy minister of mines and resources. He served as the federal Commissioner for the Northwest Territories from 1947 to 1950. Keenleyside was the director general of the United Nations' Technical Assistance Administration from 1950 to 1958. As the chairman of the British Columbia Power Commission from 1959 to 1962 and of the British Columbia Hydro and Power Authority from 1962 to 1969, he played a key role in the development of hydroelectric power in that province. Keenleyside received a number of awards and distinctions during his long and distinguished career, including the Order of Canada and the Pearson Peace Medal. He published his memoirs in 1981-1982. Published in 1929 by Knopf of New York and revised in the fifties, Keenleyside's Canada and the United States: Some Aspects of the History of the Republic and the Dominion was the first book-length study devoted to the history of Canadian-American relations. He attended the 1937 and 1941 conferences on Canadian-American relations organized by the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.





© 2004 Claude Bélanger, Marianopolis College