1948.26.1 | Dish

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Robinson, Edkins & Aston
About 1931, 19th century
38 x 265 cm
Bequest of the Right Honourable Richard Bedford, Viscount Bennett
This artefact belongs to: © New Brunswick Museum
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Keys to History

Prime Minister Bennett (1870-1947) and his entourage returned from the 1930 Imperial Conference optimistic about the economic future. But they found his program for recovery floundering. The energetic Prime Minister had to contend with drought, depression and growing despair. After a tour of the West and consultations with the western premiers, Bennett established the Dominion Agricultural Credit Company to enable farmers to receive credit more readily.

By the time the spring session of the Parliament convened, the Bennett government had little to offer but speeches urging patience. Bennett himself hoped that the 1931 Imperial Conference would endorse his plan for an imperial trading block, but worried when the conference was postponed until 1932. An unemployment and relief package that he presented to Parliament represented the most far-reaching economic rescue program up to that time.

In the summer of 1931, the Prime Minister again toured the West, where he witnessed an unfolding dustbowl tragedy of agricultural collapse. Once again, he promised relief. For his 61st birthday that same summer, Bennett received a pair of silver entrée dishes with scroll and leaf borders from the members of his Cabinet.

  • What

    An inscription on the inside of each dish cover reads "Presented to Prime Minister Bennett on the occasion of his 61st birthday by members of the Canadian Cabinet, Ottawa, 3 July 1931."

  • Where

    The manufacturing firm of Robinson, Edkins & Aston was located in Birmingham, England.

  • When

    The Birmingham, England, silver industry developed in the 18th century.

  • Who

    The manufacturer, Robinson, Edkins & Aston, , was a well known 19th-century silver producer.