Richard Burpee Hanson, PC (March 20, 1879 – July 14, 1948), made significant contributions as a Canadian politician. He served as the interim leader of the Conservative Party from May 14, 1940, until November 11, 1941.
Born in Bocabec, Charlotte County, Richard Burpee Hanson was the son of Richard B. and Hannah Hanson. He received his education in public schools in St. Andrews, and attended Mount Allison University and Dalhousie Law School. In November 1902, he was admitted to the Bar of New Brunswick, and in January 1917, the Government of New Brunswick granted him the title of King’s Counsel. From 1918 to 1920, he held the position of Mayor of Fredericton.
Hanson entered federal politics when he was first elected as a Conservative Member of Parliament (MP) for the New Brunswick electoral district of York—Sunbury in the 1921 general election. He served continuously in the Canadian House of Commons until his defeat in the 1935 election. In 1934, he was appointed as the Minister of Trade and Commerce in R. B. Bennett‘s Cabinet.
Despite the Conservative Party’s poor performance in the 1940 election and the personal defeat of Robert Manion, Hanson successfully returned to Parliament. After Manion’s resignation, the Conservative caucus selected Hanson as the interim leader. He assumed the role of Conservative party leader until Arthur Meighen was appointed as the party’s new leader in November 1941. As Meighen did not have a seat in the House and failed to win one through a by-election, Hanson continued as the Leader of the Opposition until 1943.
Richard Hanson was laid to rest in Forest Hill Cemetery in Fredericton, leaving behind a legacy of political leadership and service.
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