Fonds F 684 - Charles A. Dunning fonds

Title and statement of responsibility area

Title proper

Charles A. Dunning fonds

General material designation

  • Textual record

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Reference code

F 684

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Issuing jurisdiction and denomination (philatelic)

Dates of creation area


  • 1916-1926 (Creation)
    Dunning, Charles Avery, 1885-1958

Physical description area

Physical description

5.280m of textual records

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Archival description area

Name of creator


Biographical history

Charles Avery Dunning was born on July 31, 1885, in Croft, Leicestershire, England, to Samuel and Katherine (Hall) Dunning. He was educated at Leicester until age 11 when he left school and became an office boy at the local patent office. At age 14, he became an apprentice at an engineering firm. Dunning emigrated to Canada in 1902 and settled near Yorkton, North-West Territories, where he worked as a farm labourer. In 1903, he was granted entry on a homestead at NE 20-26-6 W2 in the Beaverdale district.

As a farmer, Dunning was active in the Beaverdale local of the Saskatchewan Grain Growers' Association (SGGA). He was elected as a director of the SGGA in 1910 and as a vice-president in 1911. He was instrumental in the establishment of the Saskatchewan Co-operative Elevator Company, and served as its first general manager from 1914 until 1916.

In October 1916, Dunning was appointed by the Premier of Saskatchewan, W.M. Martin, to serve as Provincial Treasurer in his Cabinet. Dunning was first elected to the Saskatchewan Legislature in a November 1916 by-election as the Liberal Party Member of the Legislative Assembly (MLA) for the Kinistino constituency. He was elected as the MLA for the Moose Jaw County constituency in 1917 and was re-elected in 1921 and 1925. In addition to his portfolio as Provincial Treasurer (1916-1926), Dunning served as Minister of Railways (1917-1919, 1922-1926), Minister of Telephones (1918-1919), Minister of Agriculture (1919-1920), Provincial Secretary (1921-1922), Minister of Municipal Affairs (1921-1922) and Minister-in-Charge of Labour and Industries (1921-1922). Upon the resignation of Martin as Premier on April 5, 1922, Dunning was appointed leader of the Saskatchewan Liberal Party and was sworn in as Premier of Saskatchewan and President of the Executive Council. During its mandate, the Dunning Government ended prohibition, by result of a 1924 plebiscite on the issue, and established a provincial liquor board aimed at controlling the sale of alcohol. It also oversaw the establishment and early growth of the Saskatchewan Wheat Pool.

On February 26, 1926, Dunning resigned as Premier and MLA to accept a federal post as Minister of Railways and Canals in the W.L. Mackenzie King Cabinet. He served in this role in two separate terms between 1926 and 1929, and as Acting Minister in late 1929. He also served as Minister of Finance and Receiver General in two separate terms between 1929 and 1939, Dunning was elected as a Liberal Party Member of Parliament (MP) for the Regina constituency in 1926 and served until his defeat in 1930. He was elected as a Liberal MP for the Queen's constituency in Prince Edward Island in 1935 and served until his retirement from politics in 1939.

After leaving politics, Dunning relocated to Montreal, Quebec and was appointed president and chief executive officer of Ogilvie Flour Mills, a position held until 1947. He also sat on the boards of various other corporations and financial institutions. Dunning was appointed chancellor of Queen's University in 1940 and served in this role until his death on October 1, 1958 in Montreal. He was interred at Mount Royal Cemetery in Montreal.

Charles Dunning married Ada Rowlatt on July 3, 1913. They had two children: Katherine and Avery. Ada Dunning died in Montreal on December 2, 1963.

Custodial history

The Saskatchewan Legislative Library transferred some of these records to the Regina office, Saskatchewan Archives in one accession in 1947: 21 (1947).
The Office of the Premier of Saskatchewan transferred some of these records to the Regina office, Saskatchewan Archives in one accession in 1947: P 40 (June 17, 1947).

Scope and content

This fonds consists of records created, accumulated and used by the Hon. Charles A. Dunning from 1916 to 1926 during his political career in Saskatchewan as Provincial Treasurer (1916-1926), Minister of Railways (1917-1919, 1922-1926), Minister of Telephones (1918-1919), Minister of Agriculture (1919-1920), Provincial Secretary (1921-1922), Minister of Municipal Affairs (1921-1922), and Premier and President of the Executive Council (1922-1926).

The fonds also consists of photocopies of records held by Queen's University Archives in its Charles Avery Dunning fonds that relate to Dunning's political career in Saskatchewan.

This fonds contains public and private records.

No series assignment has been applied to the records in this fonds.

The types of records included are correspondence; memoranda; briefing notes; reports; minutes and agendas; publications; speaking notes; newspaper clippings; petitions; acts and legislation; and pamphlets.

Notes area

Physical condition

Records are in good physical condition.

Immediate source of acquisition


Order imposed by archivist based on original file structure. File numbers prefaced with the letter "Y" indicate Dunning's premier's papers, those prefaced with an "X" indicate his ministerial papers, and those with a "Q" indicate papers that are in the custody of the Queen's University Archives.

Language of material

  • English

Script of material

Location of originals

Availability of other formats

A microfilm copy exists for some of the records in this fonds. R-7.3 (Reels 1-35)

Restrictions on access

These records are subject to access restrictions. Please consult reference archivist for assistance.

Interloan: R-7.3 may be available for inter-institutional loan. Please consult the reference archivist.

Terms governing use, reproduction, and publication

Use, publication and/or reproduction of records are subject to terms and conditions of the Copyright Act. Please consult reference archivist for assistance.

To consult the records, visit or contact the Regina and Saskatoon offices.

Finding aids

SAFA 652 (old guide GS 32) consists of a fonds description and file listings of some of the textual records.

Associated materials

Associated material: Charles Avery Dunning fonds - held by Queen's University Archives: consists of records created between 1913 and 1958 and relating to Dunning's career in provincial and federal politics and his business career.
Related material: R-E1092 - A Guide to the Charles Avery Dunning Papers, 1913-1958: Queen's University Archives.
Clippings - Co-operative Societies: Includes an article entitled "The War and the Western Farmer" authored by Dunning as general manager of the Saskatchewan Co-operative Elevator Company, published in Prairie Farm and Home, December 9, 1914.
Additional textual and photographic records related to Charles A. Dunning are available. Please consult the Regina and Saskatoon main card catalogues and Threshold for descriptions of these records.

Related materials


No further accruals are expected.

General note

Locations for Retrieval: Regina - Hillsdale; Saskatoon - Murray.
Microfilm R-7.3 does not include copies of Dunning's records from Queen's University Archives.


Conservation practices in place at the time of processing were applied to the records in this fonds.

Alpha-numeric designations

Textual Records: Old guide GS 32 (S-M6); R-E3344.

Alternative identifier(s)

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Description record identifier

F 684

Institution identifier

Rules or conventions

Saskatchewan Archives. Archival Description Manual 2004.



Level of detail

Language of description

  • English

Script of description

  • Latin


Content of the fonds.

Accession area