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“For the good of the country” – Murray and Royal Commissions

But nobody could accuse Walter Murray of being interested only in Saskatchewan; he responded to the call for public service in many parts of Canada. In the course of time he was to go from one Royal Commission to another. Incidentally, the first commission upon which he was called to serve was back there in Nova Scotia when the railroad freight handlers went on strike. There he was associated with a lifelong friend, Clarence McKinnon, and a satisfactory settlement was secured. But what Mrs. Murray remembered and enjoyed was that before the freight handlers went back to work after the settlement, she and her daughters were leaving Halifax for a holiday and Commissioner Murray was obliged to carry the family trunks and load them on the rail cars single handed. Again in 1931 he was appointed to a Royal Commission investigating transportation in the Dominion.

Tribute by Grant MacEwan, C.B.C. August 22, 1946.

In this section we will examine two of the Royal Commissions that Walter Murray served on: The (Beatty) Commission on Professional and Technical Salaries in the Civil Service, 1928-1930 and The (Duff) Commission on Transportation, 1931-1932. The two commissions coincided with the downward spiral of the Canadian economy into the Great Depression and mark a turning point in the country’s governance and economic management.