by J L Granatstein
When Mackenzie King retired from politics in 1948, he had held office for longer than any previous Prime Minister in the British Commonwealth. He remains one of the most controversial figures in Canadian history; his private life as well as his political career have received much attention. Although his political methods were occasionally viewed as unscrupulous, King's domestic achievements were important.
His government saw the introduction of the first major welfare policies, including family allowances, pensions and unemployment insurance while guiding the young nation on the world front through the war years.