Martin, Paul Joseph James

Paul Joseph James Martin, politician, statesman (b at Ottawa 23 June 1903; d at Windsor 14 Sept 1992). First elected to the House of Commons in 1935, Martin quickly took a prominent place in Liberal ranks because of his impressive educational background in philosophy, international relations and law. PM King appointed him parliamentary assistant to the minister of labour in 1943; he entered Cabinet in 1945 as secretary of state, and in 1946 became minister of national health and welfare (now HEALTH CANADA). Faced with a government becoming increasingly conservative on social issues, Martin managed to introduce a system of health grants and, by threatening resignation, made PM ST-LAURENT accept national health insurance. He also undertook diplomatic assignments for the King and St-Laurent governments. In 1955 he negotiated an agreement that allowed the expansion of UN membership. Martin ran unsuccessfully for the Liberal leadership in 1948 and 1958. In 1963 PM PEARSON appointed Martin secretary of state for external affairs, a portfolio he held until 1968, when he tried again for the leadership but lost to Pierre TRUDEAU. He was appointed government leader in the Senate (1968-74) and high commissioner to Britain (1975-79). His memoirs, A Very Public Life, have been published in 2 volumes (1983, 1986).