Archives Timeline: Empty Cabinets

T.C. Douglas became Premier of Saskatchewan in July 1944. Less than two weeks after taking office, Douglas was preparing for an upcoming Dominion-Provincial Conference in Ottawa but could not find the agenda for the meeting, which had been sent to the Premier’s Office before the July election. Douglas complained to the media that the previous Premier from the opposing political party, W.J. Patterson, had improperly removed all of the correspondence from his office when he left, leaving “only empty cabinets” behind. In a letter to Douglas, Patterson responded that he and his members had “followed the rules and practices established by custom” related to the retention of government documents and they had not removed or destroyed any documents which should have stayed in the government offices. While the entire story may never be known, this missing agenda prompted the Douglas government to make new records management legislation a top priority.

                              
    W.J. Patterson, ca. 1940                             Correspondence between Douglas and                               T.C. Douglas, 1944       
    SK Archives Photo R-A2670                             Patterson related to missing records                           SK Archives Photo R-A3421   
  SK Archives, R-33.1 T.C. Douglas fonds,
  file 815, Leaders of the Opposition, and
 other Parties

 
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