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List of Canadian high commissioners to the United Kingdom

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List of Canadian high commissioners to the United Kingdom

High Commission of Canada in the United Kingdom
Location London, W1K 4AB
Address 1, Grosvenor Square
High Commissioner Gordon Campbell

The High Commission of Canada in the United Kingdom in London is the diplomatic mission from Canada to the United Kingdom. It is housed in two buildings in London.

History

The Canadian High Commission in London is Canada's oldest diplomatic posting, having been established in 1880. Canada House, in Trafalgar Square, became the site of the mission 1923. In 1962, Canada also acquired the former American Embassy at 1, Grosvenor Square in London's Mayfair district and was renamed Macdonald House. Since then the High Commissioner has based himself in Macdonald House.

Canada's presence in London goes back to 1869 when Sir John Rose, 1st Baronet was appointed as Canada's informal representative in Britain. This was the first Canadian diplomatic posting and the first from any British colony to the motherland. Since Canada did not have a foreign ministry, Rose acted as the personal representative of Canada's prime minister Sir John A. Macdonald. Rose's position was retained despite a change of government in Canada and his position was given the title "Financial Commissioner for the Dominion of Canada". When Macdonald returned to power in 1878 he wanted to elevate the office to "resident minister" but this was disallowed by Britain, who offered the title of high commissioner instead; this was the origin of the practice whereby members of the Commonwealth send high commissioners rather than ambassadors to each other, which continues to this day.

The first high commissioner was Alexander Tilloch Galt, appointed in 1880. The office remained the most important in Canadian diplomacy and was always filled by political appointees rather than career diplomats even after Canada created a Ministry of External Affairs in 1921.

As the high commission's role grew it needed to expand its facilities, and on 29 June 1925, King George V and Queen Mary officiated at the dedication of Canada House on Trafalgar Square. The mission's needs continued to expand, however, and Canada acquired the former American embassy on Grosvenor Square and renamed it Macdonald House, in honour of Canada's first prime minister. Macdonald House opened on Canada Day, (1 July), 1961.

Canada House was refurbished in 1997-98.

List of Canadian High Commissioners in the United Kingdom

High Commissioner Start of term End of term
Hon. Sir Alexander Tilloch Galt 1880 1883
Rt. Hon. Sir Charles Tupper 1883 1896
Rt. Hon. Donald Alexander Smith, 1st Baron Strathcona and Mount Royal 1896 1914
Rt. Hon. Sir George Perley 1914 1922
Hon. Peter C. Larkin 1922 1930
Lucien Turcotte Pacaud (acting) 1930 1930
Hon. Howard Ferguson 1930 1935
Rt. Hon. Vincent Massey 1935 1946
Norman Robertson 1946 1949
L. Dana Wilgress 1949 1952
Norman Robertson (second time) 1952 1957
Hon. George Drew 1957 1964
Hon. Lionel Chevrier 1964 1967
Charles Ritchie 1967 1971
Jake Warren 1971 1974
Rt. Hon. Paul Joseph James Martin 1974 1979
Jean Casselman Wadds 1980 1983
Hon. Donald Jamieson 1983 1985
Roy McMurtry 1985 1988
Hon. Donald Stovel Macdonald 1988 1991
Fredrik S. Eaton 1991 1994
Hon. Royce Frith 1994 1996
Hon. Roy MacLaren 1996 2000
Jeremy Kinsman 2000 2002
Mel Cappe 2002 2006
James R. Wright 2006 2011
Gordon Campbell 2011 Present

See also

References

External links

  • Official website

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