William Lyon Mackenzie King
William Lyon Mackenzie King PC OM CMG (1874-12-17 – 1950-07-22) was the tenth Prime Minister of Canada from December 29, 1921, to June 28, 1926; September 25, 1926, to August 6, 1930; and October 23, 1935, to November 15, 1948. With over 21 years in the office, he was the longest serving Prime Minister in British Commonwealth history.
- In a word, that policy may be described as not necessarily conscription, but conscription if necessary.
- In House of Commons, 10 June 1942
- Until the control of the issue of currency and credit is restored to government and recognized as its most conspicuous and sacred responsibility, all talks of the sovereignty of Parliament and of democracy is idle and futile... Once a nation parts with the control of its credit, it matters not who makes the laws... Usury once in control will wreck the nation.
- If some countries have too much history, we have too much geography.
- When it comes to politics, one has to do as one [does] at sea with a sailing ship... reach one's course having regard to prevailing winds.
- It is what we prevent, rather than what we do that counts most in Government.
- Where there is little or no public opinion, there is likely to be bad government, which sooner or later becomes autocratic government.
- I believed the people had a true instinct in most matters of government when left alone. That they were not swayed, as specially favoured individuals were, by personal interest, but rather by a sense of what best served the common good. That they recognized the truth when it was put before them, and that a leader can guide so long as he kept to the right lines. I did not think it was a mark of leadership to try to make the people do what one wanted them to do.
About William Lyon Mackenzie King
- We had no shape
Because he never took sides;
And no sides
Because he never allowed them to take shape.
- Do nothing by halves
Which can be done by quarters.
- F. R. Scott, "W.L.M.K.", 1957
- William Lyon Mackenzie King
Sat in a corner and played with string,
Loved his mother like anything,
William Lyon Mackenzie King.
- Dennis Lee, "William Lyon Mackenzie King"