Fonds F108 - T.J. Bentley fonds

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T.J. Bentley fonds

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  • 1944-1956, 1982 , predominant 1949-1956 (Creation)

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4.14 m of textual records
2 audio reels (ca. 3 hr.)

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Name of creator

Biographical history

Thomas John Bentley was born on May 3, 1891 in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia to Wells and Annie (Brown) Bentley. He was educated in Nova Scotia. Bentley worked in logging camps and on railway bridge construction prior to enlisting with the Canadian Army in 1915. He served overseas with the Canadian Expeditionary Force, 66th Battalion and received the Distinguished Conduct Medal during his tour of duty.

Bentley returned to Canada in 1919 and farmed in the Preeceville, Saskatchewan district until 1926, when he began work with the Saskatchewan Wheat Pool, first as an elevator operator and later as field staff. Bentley resigned from the Pool in 1944 to embark on a career in politics.

Bentley was elected to the House of Commons in 1945 and served as a Cooperative Commonwealth Federation (CCF) member for the Swift Current constituency until his defeat in 1949. He was elected to the Saskatchewan Legislature in 1949 and served as a CCF member for the Gull Lake (1949-1952) and Shaunavon (1952-1960) constituencies. Bentley served in the T.C. Douglas Government as Minister of Public Health (1949-1956) and Minister of Social Welfare and Rehabilitation (1956-1960). He retired from political life in 1960.

Bentley served two years on a medicare advisory committee headed by Dr. Walter Thompson before retiring to Saskatoon and later Vancouver, British Columbia. He died on June 2, 1983 in Vancouver.

Bentley married Lenora Rachel Chabot on April 1, 1914. They had five children: Ruth, Joseph, Donald, Thomas, and Jack.

Custodial history

The Department of Public Health transferred these records to the Regina office, Saskatchewan Archives in one accession (between 1956 and 1965). The records were assigned accession number PL 162.Records created by T.C. Douglas as Minister of Public Health were identified in the Bentley fonds at the time of retro-description. Thomas John Bentley donated some of these records to the Regina office, Saskatchewan Archives, in one accession in 1982: R82-619 (December 24, 1982).

Scope and content

This fonds consists of records created, accumulated and used from 1949 to 1956 by Thomas John Bentley as Minister of Public Health. Records created by T.C. Douglas, Bentley's predecessor as Minister of Health, are also included.

The types of records included are correspondence, memoranda, newspaper clippings, publications, reports and briefs. Sound recordings of Bentley being interviewed by Jean Larmour in 1982 are included in the fonds. In the interview, Bentley discusses his family background; grain sales in the 1920s; the establishment of the Saskatchewan Wheat Pool and his employment as a Pool fieldman; the impact of the depression in the 1930s; the Progessive Party; CCF activities; health care; and his political career.

No series assignment has been applied to the records in this fonds.

This fonds is missing records Bentley created as a member of the Saskatchewan Legislative Assembly and as Minister of Social Welfare and Rehabilitation.

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Original order maintained by archivist.

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Some of these records are subject to access restrictions. Please consult reference archivist for assistance.

Terms governing use, reproduction, and publication

Use, publication and/or reproduction of records subject to terms and conditions of the Copyright Act.

Finding aids

SAFA 356 (old guide GR 83) consists of a fonds description and file listings of textual records.

Associated materials

Related material: Sound recordings of Thomas Bentley being interviewed by Sylvia Robinson in 1979 as part of the Saskatchewan Wheat Pool Field Staff Oral History Project are located in the Regina office (R-5538 to R-5539). A sound recording of Thomas John Bentley being interviewed by Craig Oliver in 1965 regarding the history of the Cooperative Commonwealth Federation (CCF) is located in the Regina office (R-6080). Sixteen photographs of Bentley as Minister of Public Health and Minister of Social Welfare and Rehabilitation are located in the Regina office: (R-A5349; R-A9173 (2); R-A11509 (3),(5); R-A13541; R-A17556; R-B4796 (2) (4); R-B5281; R-B6166; S-B4703; S-B4788). Records created by Bentley as Minister of Public Health are located in the J. Walter Erb fonds (F 116). A sound recording of a speech by Thomas John Bentley, Minister of Public Health, made during the Throne speech debate on February 27, 1956 is located in the Regina office (R-6034).

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No further accruals are expected.

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Other codes: Textual records: old guide GR 83 (R-11); Sound recordings: R-8323 to R-8325

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