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"NOU" 2003 Obituary


NOUMOFF o@ca.on.york_county.toronto.globe_and_mail 2003-08-15 published
Professor played a role in defeat of SSAINTURENT government
By M.J. STONE Special to The Globe and Mail Friday, August 15, 2003 - Page R5
Nearly four decades after Louis SSAINTURENT had been Prime Minister of Canada, McGill professor James MALLORY was surprised to discover how influential he had been in the defeat of Mr. SSAINTURENT's Liberals in 1957. The revelation occurred in 1992 when the cabinet papers of the SSAINTURENT government, which had been sealed for 35 years, were made available to the public.
Unknown to Professor MALLORY, a radio interview he gave in the wake of the 1957 election had caught the Prime Minister's ear. The Liberals had been reduced to 105 seats in the House, seven fewer than the Conservatives. But the Grits were still in a position to form a minority government with the aid of the 25 elected members of the Co-operative Commonwealth Federation, later to become the New Democratic Party.
Mr. SSAINTURENT found himself at a crossroads. While his party was clearly in decline, the Conservatives were on the rise and many questioned whether the Liberals still had a legal mandate to govern. When Mr. SSAINTURENT arrived in cabinet that morning, Prof. MALLORY's radio interview was still ringing in his ears.
Prof. MALLORY, who died in Montreal on June 24, said in the interview that if the Liberals continued to govern it would result in a constitutional crisis. He believed it was the responsibility of John DIEFENBAKER and the Conservatives to form a government. The cabinet papers clearly reflect Prof. MALLORY's influence over the Prime Minister that morning. Mr. SSAINTURENT demanded a copy of the MALLORY interview and after carefully studying the radio transcripts, he handed the rule of government over to the Tories.
Highly regarded as the foremost expert in Canadian legal and federal structures, Prof. MALLORY was often called on to advise governments about constitutional procedures. McGill professor Charles TAILOR/TAYLOR said another good example occurred in 1979.
"Joe CLARK's Conservatives had just lost a parliamentary vote," Prof. TAILOR/TAYLOR recalled. "The governor-general, Ed SCHREYER, telephoned McGill's political science department, looking for Jim. It caused something of a stir when he couldn't be found immediately. SCHREYER was frantic for MALLORY's advice. The governor-general was unsure how to proceed.
"Jim was eventually found and consulted. His advice was that the Conservatives should call an election -- exactly what Joe CLARK did."
The son of a county sheriff, James Russell MALLORY was born on February 5, 1916. He graduated with a Bachelor of Arts from the University of New Brunswick in 1937 and later studied law at Edinburgh and Dalhousie universities.
He met his American-born wife, Frances KELLER, in Scotland, and the couple married in 1940. They had two sons: James and Charles. Prof. MALLORY joined the faculty of the University of Saskatchewan in 1941. Later, he taught at the University of Toronto and Brandon College before moving to McGill in 1946.
A respected scholar and lawyer, Prof. MALLORY was an "old-school" professor who taught at McGill for 45 years. His reputation as a constitutional expert was solidified in 1954 when he published Social Credit and the Federal Power in Canada. The quintessential text mapped out the constitutional parameters of federal/provincial relations.
"James MALLORY was a discreet and modest man," McGill professor Sam NOUMOFF recalled. "He had a profound understanding of morality and he was incapable of self-promotion. He worked on university committee after committee while holding many teaching responsibilities.
"Jim wasn't the sort of man who sought public approval, he just did things because they were the right thing to do."
His son James, who lives in Britain, summed up his father's idealism: "He had a bloody-minded stubbornness. It would manifest sometimes in allowing discussions to go on and on. Then he would do exactly what he intended to do in the first place. Somehow it never impaired his reputation as a genuine democrat."
Prof. MALLORY was the founder of both the Canadian Studies program at McGill and the Canadian Association of University Professors. After retiring in 1982 he was appointed professor emeritus and continued to teach for another 10 years. In 1964, he was elected to the Royal Society of Canada and was later awarded the Queen's Silver Jubilee Medal in 1977.
In 1995, McGill founded the James R. Mallory lecture series, a one-day event that features a special guest who lectures about Canadian issues. Past guests have included Bob RAE, Peter WHITE/WHYTE and Phyllis LAMBERT. The organizers of the event say that this year's lecture will focus on Prof. MALLORY's legacy.
Prof. MALLORY died 11 weeks after the death of his wife on what would have been their 63rd anniversary.

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