Research on the 1960 Kingston Conference… any leads?

I recently read John Beal’s 1964 book “The Pearson Phenomenon” I found this little gem in the library while looking for books that would have something to say about to Kingston conference that the liberal party held the week of September 6, 1960.

The book is interesting for two reasons. The first is that it is written by an American. (and I thought Americans didn’t care about Canadian politics, especially in 1960?) The second is that it was written in 1964, while Pearson was in office and so reflects the optimism and challenges of that time.

What drew me to the book was what it had to say about the Kingston conference – for which it had a reasonable blow-by-blow account, some transcripts and interviews with key player. Not a ton of material, but at least 15-20 pages worth.

I’ve been struck by how little has been written about the Kingston conference. For those who are also looking for accounts of the event, this book has some of the play-by-play but will almost certainly leave you wanting. If you found a good account of the conference, both of its organization and/or a description of the events, please let me know by e-mailing me or posting a comment. Would appreciate any thoughts ot help…

8 thoughts on “Research on the 1960 Kingston Conference… any leads?

  1. Brian Plas

    Try Stephen Azzi’s book on Walter Gordon and John English’s on Pearson. Both cover the Kingston Conference very well.

    Reply
  2. Alexander Swann

    Tom Kent’s memoirs may be another option. I don’t recall exactly what detail he got into in the book. When I interviewed Kent at Queen’s for research I was doing in ’96, I popped into the Queen’s archives where Kent left his papers and in his papers or in a different set there was meticulously kept there lots of information about the whole thing like the list of participants, agenda, and list of the dorm rooms various participants, such as John Turner, et al. stayed in. It was a clear turning point for the party, first coming off the heels of a drubbing by Dief but then setting the course for the CPP, Medicare, etc.

    Reply
  3. Brian Plas

    Try Stephen Azzi’s book on Walter Gordon and John English’s on Pearson. Both cover the Kingston Conference very well.

    Reply
  4. Alexander Swann

    Tom Kent’s memoirs may be another option. I don’t recall exactly what detail he got into in the book. When I interviewed Kent at Queen’s for research I was doing in ’96, I popped into the Queen’s archives where Kent left his papers and in his papers or in a different set there was meticulously kept there lots of information about the whole thing like the list of participants, agenda, and list of the dorm rooms various participants, such as John Turner, et al. stayed in. It was a clear turning point for the party, first coming off the heels of a drubbing by Dief but then setting the course for the CPP, Medicare, etc.

    Reply
  5. Diana Nicholson

    Hi David,
    I spent a delightful two hours at Sauvé House today in a session on the new website & communications strategy (I am content manager). Further to the discussion on Jeanne Sauvé, I have been looking for any information on her participation in the Kingston Conference – have you come up with anything? More soon on the website development.

    Reply
  6. Diana Nicholson

    Hi David,I spent a delightful two hours at Sauvé House today in a session on the new website & communications strategy (I am content manager). Further to the discussion on Jeanne Sauvé, I have been looking for any information on her participation in the Kingston Conference – have you come up with anything? More soon on the website development.

    Reply

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