Richard SquiresRichard Squires was the Prime Minister of Newfoundland from 1919-1923 and from 1928-1932.
|Rank:||15th (1919-1923 and 1928-1932)|
|Date of Birth:||January 18,1880|
|Place of Birth:||Harbour Grace, Newfoundland|
|Date of Death:||March 26,1940|
|Place of Death:||St. John's, Newfoundland|
|Political Party:||Liberal Party of Newfoundland|
|Predecessor:||Sir Micheal Cashin|
|Predecessor:||Frederick C. Alderdice|
|Sucessor:||Frederick C. Alderdice|
Squires was born in Harbour Grace, Newfoundland in 1880. He started out practicing law in St. John's. He served as a member in the government of Edward Patrick Morris from 1913 to 1918. In 1919, Squires started a campaign for the vacent leadership of the Liberal Party. He won the leadership over William Warren.
Squires won the election of 1919 over Sir Micheal Cashin of the Liberal Progressive Party. He did this by with an alliance with the Unionist Party of William Coaker. During his first administration, Squires started the development of the Humber River. He also attempted many reforms suggested by Coaker. These reforms would have regulated the fishery. These reforms failed because of a collaspe in fish prices which was blamed on Coaker's reforms.
Squires government was accused of using bribes to win the 1923 General Election. A cabinet minister Dr. Alex Campbell was in the center of the scandal. Several other cabinet members demanded Campbell be forced to resign. When Squires refused they said they would walk across the floor. The Attorny General William Warren issued an arrest warrent for Squires. Squires was arrested and later released on bond. He then resigned as Prime Minister.
Squires remained in the House of Assembly, as a independent member. In the next year, Newfoundland saw four governments fall. It was not until Walter Monroe won the 1924 election that stability was restored. Squires remained in the background working on a possible return to power. In 1928 Walter Monroe resigned as Prime Minister and was replaced by his cousin Frederick C. Alderdice. In the election of 1928, Squires returned as Liberal leader and wiped out the conservatives.
His next administation started out will, seeing the election of his wife Helena Squires as the first woman to sit in the House of Assembly. Newfoundland was stuck hard by the collapse of Wall Street in 1929. Fish prices fell to extremely low prices. Newfoundland had a severe public debt that only got worse. In 1932 even asked Canada to join confederation but Canada refused.
On April 5, 1932, a large parade was organized by the opposition. They marched to the Colonial Building which was the seat of the House of Assembly. There was over 10,000 people at the protest and things got out of control. The crowd got angry when no one came out to address them. After a short while, several people managed to break into the building. Squires and government members had to escape around the back. Squires was nearly caught trying to get into a cab. He only got away by running trough someones house.
Squires called an election shortly after. Squires lost the election and his own seat. The Liberals only won two seats out of 28. Alderdice who was still leader of the opposition came to power and want about putting into place Commission of Government.
Squires retired but always remained active in his opposition to the Commission of Government. He passed away at the age of 60, in 1940.