external affairs

Secretary of State for External Affairs (Canada)

Canada's Secretary of State for External Affairs was, from 1909 to 1993, the member of the Cabinet of Canada responsible for overseeing the federal government's international relations and the former Department of External Affairs. The first two Secretaries of State for External Affairs from 1909 until 1912 (Charles Murphy under Sir Wilfrid Laurier and William James Roche under Sir Robert Borden) concurrently served as Secretary of State for Canada. The two portfolios were permanently separated in 1912. The position was then held concurrently by the Prime Minister of Canada until 1946.

Noted Secretaries of State for External Affairs have included Louis St. Laurent, Lester B. Pearson, Paul Joseph James Martin, Allan MacEachen, Mitchell Sharp, and Joe Clark. The position was replaced by the Minister of Foreign Affairs in 1993.

Secretaries of State for External Affairs

1. Charles Murphy under Laurier May 19 1909October 6 1911
2. William James Roche under Borden October 10 1911April 1 1912
3. Robert Laird Borden as PM April 1 1912July 9 1920
4. Arthur Meighen as PM July 10 1920December 29 1921
5. William Lyon Mackenzie King as PM December 29 1921June 28 1926
Arthur Meighen (2nd time) as PM June 29 1926September 25 1926
William Lyon Mackenzie King (2nd time) as PM September 25 1926August 7 1930
6. Richard Bedford Bennett as PM August 7 1930October 23 1935
William Lyon Mackenzie King (3rd time) as PM October 23 1935September 3 1946
7. Louis St. Laurent under King September 4 1946September 9 1948
8. Lester B. Pearson under King September 10 1948November 15 1948
Lester B. Pearson (cont’d) under St. Laurent November 15 1948June 20 1957
9. John Diefenbaker as PM June 21 1957September 12 1957
10. Sidney Earle Smith under Diefenbaker September 13 1957March 17 1959
* John Diefenbaker (2nd time) (Acting) as PM March 19 1959June 3 1959
11. Howard Green under Diefenbaker June 4 1959April 21 1963
12. Paul Joseph James Martin under Pearson April 22 1963April 20 1968
13. Mitchell Sharp under Trudeau April 20 1968August 7 1974
14. Allan MacEachen under Trudeau August 8 1974September 13 1976
15. Donald Jamieson under Trudeau September 14 1976June 3 1979
16. Flora MacDonald under Clark June 4 1979March 2 1980
17. Mark MacGuigan under Trudeau March 3 1980September 9 1982
Allan MacEachen (2nd time) under Trudeau September 10 1982June 29 1984
18. Jean Chrétien under Turner June 30 1984September 16 1984
19. Joe Clark under Mulroney September 17 1984April 20 1991
20. Barbara McDougall under Mulroney April 21 1991June 24 1993
21. Perrin Beatty under Campbell June 25 1993November 3 1993

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